When Apple announced its wireless in-ear headphones, the AirPods, reactions were mixed. Questions were asked: Don’t they look a bit funny? What will they sound like? Will they really do all the things they promise?
To which the answers were: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, they sound amazing and yes, actually, they live up to what they promised. Which was when they started selling crazy-fast, faster than Apple could make them. Even when the company ramped up production, it seemed, sales were at or above capacity. AirPods were a stocking filler Christmas gift that was much in demand.
AirPods even got its own cool commercial when the holidays rolled around.
So, news reported by Bloomberg, that the second generation of AirPods will be here soon, is worth noting.
In fact, there was news of the third-gen version, as well, due for 2019.
First things first, the second edition of AirPods will probably be out later this year, Bloomberg says. It looks like the new model will have an improved wireless chip. Some users have found that although the headphones have many neat extras – like the way the charge levels for the earbuds and their carry case are displayed on an iPhone screen when you just bring the open AirPods case near – that sometimes making the connection between phone and headphones can be a little more time-consuming than you’d like.
A new chip might improve the stickability of this connection to make it even more reliable. Currently, Apple uses the W1 chip in its AirPods, while some other gadgets, like the most recent Apple Watch, have a different wireless chip, W2, on board.
The second improvement that’s been suggested is a hands-free connection to Siri. Right now, to invoke the virtual personal assistant, you tap the AirPods. This is no great problem, but the improved user experience iPhone users when the ability to wake the assistant just by saying ‘Hey, Siri’ would be welcomed on AirPods as well. And after all, it’s there on the newly released HomePod, so why not?
The proposed third-generation AirPods, by the way, are rumored to add water resistance, too. It’s unlikely this will be so you can go swimming in your AirPods – they’d float out in the water, right? – but would at least mean rain wouldn’t be a worry.
It’s worth remembering that there’s already one upgrade we know about for sure: the battery case is to be re-released in a special edition with wireless charging capabilities so it can be used with the upcoming AirPower wireless charging pad.
AirPod users, however, will know that the headphones already have exemplary battery life thanks to the powerful battery case.
AirPods weren’t the first wireless headphones, but they have been such a success it’s no surprise Apple will want to improve on them.
Even if some people still feel they look funny. But, hey, they’re pretty distinctive.