Ever since Apple announced the AirPods alongside the iPhone 7 during its September 2016 event, the biggest question has been "What happens when you lose one?" as at £159 for the pair and £69 for a replacement, the wireless earbuds aren't cheap.
One developer got to work on creating a solution and released Finder for AirPods on the App Store shortly after the AirPods (delayed) launch in December 2016, however Apple took it down only weeks after release. According to the developer via MacRumours, Apple claimed that it didn't like the 'concept' of people finding their AirPods and was deemed 'not appropriate for the App Store' - and now we understand why.
How to use Find my AirPods: Apple to introduce Find my AirPods in iOS 10.3
Apple recently announced the first iOS 10.3 beta, available for developers, and alongside the integration of Apple's new file system APFS, Apple has introduced Find my AirPods within the Find my iPhone app. It works via Bluetooth, and apparently, the AirPod doesn't have to be close for you to find it – although it does have to be in range of an Apple device signed in to your iCloud account.
If you know roughly where you lost your AirPods, you can tap "Play Sound" within the Find my iPhone app, forcing your earbuds to start chirping and thus making them easier to locate. But what if you've only lost one bud, and you have the other in your ear? Don't worry, you won't be deafened: the app gives you the control to mute either earbud, and even if somebody has it in the ear, the volume will gradually increase as to not cause immediate discomfort.
But what if both the earbuds and the case are dead? While you won't be able to get a live location, the app will pinpoint the last location that it could detect a Bluetooth signal.
How to use Find my AirPods
So, how can AirPods users use the functionality? For one, you need access to the iOS 10.3 beta, which is currently only available to download for developers. This means you'll need a developer account to gain access, something that'll set interested parties back £79 per year in the UK. However, don't give up hope just yet - Apple tends to release public betas alongside the developer betas and while it hasn't dropped just yet, we're holding out hope that it'll appear in the coming days.
Once you've gained access to the iOS 10.3 beta, it's a case of opening the Find my iPhone app, selecting your AirPods from the list and looking at its last known location. As mentioned above, you can also tap a button within the app that'll emit a loud noise from the earbuds, making them easier to locate.
Once iOS 10.3 is released in the coming weeks/months, we'll provide users with a step-by-step how-to, so make sure you check back regularly for updates.