Wednesday December 11, 2019 8:28 am PST by Steve Moser and Joe Rossignol
Apple appears to be working on new "Powerbeats4" wireless earphones to replace the existing Powerbeats3, based on strings in iOS 13.3 code uncovered by MacRumors contributor Steve Moser. Powerbeats3 9to5Mac was first to discover the Powerbeats4 reference, noting that the earphones will likely support hands-free "Hey Siri." This means the Powerbeats4 will likely have an Apple-designed H1 chip or newer, which delivers a faster and more stable wireless connection to your devices. With the H1 chip, the Powerbeats4 would likely support "Announce Messages with Siri." When enabled, Siri reads your incoming messages out loud when your earphones are connected to your iPhone or iPad running iOS 13.2 or iPadOS 13.2 or later, you're wearing them, and your device is locked. Siri plays a tone, then announces the sender's name and reads the message. Apple already released totally wireless Powerbeats Pro with "Hey Siri" support earlier this year for a regular price of $249.95. Powerbeats4 would likely be a cheaper version of the earphones and will presumably stick with the cord between the left and right earphone like the Powerbeats3, which retail for $199.95. It is unclear if and when Apple will release the Powerbeats4 or if that will be the final consumer-facing name of the earphones. iOS 13.3 was released yesterday.