Mystery AirTag firmware update lands ahead of iOS 16.2 release

Airtag In Hand Lifestyle Hero
(Image credit: Karen S. Freeman / iMore)

Apple has today released an updated AirTag firmware for owners of the little item tracker.

The new firmware, version number 2.0.36, carries build number 2A36. But beyond that, nothing is known about this release. And while it isn't expected to add any new functionality the timing of its arrival is notable — it comes just a day or two before Apple is expected to release iOS 16.2 to the public.

Tracked out

Apple is expected to release iOS 16.2 following a lengthy beta process that included Apple developers as well as those on the public beta program. It isn't known whether this new AirTag firmware release is tied to that update or if the timing is purely coincidental, though.

The previous AirTag firmware version was 2.0.24 and it's likely the one that you have installed right now. You can check that by opening the Find My app on your iPhone and then selecting your AirTag and then tapping its name.

Unfortunately, there is no way to manually force your AirTag to update to a new version, meaning you will just have to wait for it to happen all of its own accord. That'll happen in due course, so long as your AirTag remains within range of your iPhone. 9to5Mac also points out that these updates can often take place in phases, meaning your AirTag might not have access to firmware version 2.0.36 just yet anyway.

Apple does tend to release its AirTag firmware updates relatively regularly, with the last one altering the sound an AirTag makes when it notifies someone that it is following them around but doesn't belong to them.

That's an important feature to be sure, with AirTags often misused, sometimes being placed in cars and used to stalk people.

Oliver Haslam

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.