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Apple's AirPods will support optimized battery charging once iOS 14 ships

iPhone XR and AirPods
iPhone XR and AirPods (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple announced iOS 14 yesterday and it will ship later this year.
  • People are already testing the beta and finding interesting tidbits that weren't announced.
  • One of those is the AirPods getting optimized battery charging support.

Apple announced iOS 14 yesterday and released the first developer beta shortly afterward. That means people are running it right now and we're already learning of features that are present but weren't announced by Apple. One of those, optimized battery charging for AirPods and AirPods Pro, is particularly awesome.

Apple has already faced backlash for the way AirPods and their tiny batteries degrade over seemingly short periods of time. To help with that, Apple has enabled a feature that is already present on its iPhones and portable Macs – optimized battery charging.

Spotted by a Reddit user, the feature allows AirPods to charge their batteries to 80% and then complete the charging process just before they are likely to be used rather than have them sit at 100% capacity for longer than needed.

To reduce battery aging, AirPods learn from your daily charging routine so they can wait to finish charging past 80% until you need to use them.

Ensuring batteries don't stay at 100% charge for too long is an excellent way of increasing their overall life – something that AirPods very much need.

Apple has iOS 14 in the hands of developers right now and a public beta coming next month. Everyone else can look forward to taking it for a spin later this year after all of the kings are (hopefully) ironed out.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.