You can now take your AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max into your local Apple Store for firmware updates.
Airpods regularly receive firmware updates through an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, but for those who use other products like Android smartphones, there was no way to update the firmware until today.
According to an updated AirPods firmware support document, those without access to an Apple device can visit the Genius Bar at an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider to update their headphones to the latest firmware.
The support document reads, "If you don't have an Apple device nearby, you can set up an appointment at an Apple Store or with an Apple Authorized Service Provider to update your firmware."
Going to your nearest Apple Store isn't the most practical option, but if you previously were unable to update your AirPods, this is a huge step in the right direction for AirPods owners that don't use other Apple devices. Unfortunately, the support document gives no details on how long an appointment takes or if the Apple technician will need to take the AirPods in for repair.
AirPods mystery solved.
AirPods firmware updates have always been a bit of a mystery. Internally, some Genius Bar technicians believe that AirPods need to charge for 30 minutes in order to receive a firmware update. However, others have been known to suggest charging them overnight to ensure the update is completed successfully.
The updated document now clarifies exactly how AirPods update their firmware. Firmware updates are installed automatically when the AirPods are charging and within range of an iPhone, iPad, or Mac connected to the internet - yet the time required remains unclear.
Alongside this new information, a new AirPods firmware was released today. Firmware 5E133 has bug fixes and other improvements for AirPods 2, AirPods 3, AirPods Pro, AirPods Pro 2, and AirPods Max.
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John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself.
Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings.
John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019.
John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.
In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.