The 13-inch MacBook Air got a secret upgrade that Apple didn't tell anyone about

Macbook Air With M2 Chip In Person Wwdc
(Image credit: Future)

When Apple unveiled the 15-inch MacBook Air last month, it came with a quiet upgrade to the onboard Bluetooth chip. However, it turns out that Apple has actually pushed that update to the existing 13-inch M2 MacBook Air as well, only we're not sure how. 

A new MacRumors report has revealed that when Apple brought out the 15-inch MacBook, it made a secret change to the tech specs on its website confirming that Bluetooth 5.3 is actually now available on both the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air models. 

As we noted in our 15-inch MacBook Air review, upgrades on the M2 13-inch model are almost non-existent, with the impressive new display the sole focus, but Bluetooth 5.3 was a small tweak that actually might be available to owners of the 13-inch model too. 

Bluetooth upgrade for Mac

Analysis of Apple's website reveals that prior to the launch of the 15-inch MacBook Air, the 13-inch MacBook Air was listed as having support for Bluetooth 5.0. Post-15-inch launch, that now reads as Bluetooth 5.3 for both models. 

The question is whether the 13-inch MacBook Air has always supported Bluetooth 5.3, or whether new models sold henceforth come with slight connectivity gains. What are those gains, exactly? As per our friends at What Hi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, which exists on the iPhone 14 and AirPods Pro 2, is the latest and greatest Bluetooth standard, and boasts four main new upgrades. 

Periodic Advertising Enhancement makes Bluetooth devices more efficient, saving battery life.

Encryption Key Size Control Enhancements improve the efficiency of security communications between devices, again hopefully saving battery. 

Connection Sub Rating enables faster switching between low-duty and heavy-duty use, for example changing between listening to music and taking a call. 

Channel Classification Enhancement improves connection strength and reliability.

As noted, it's not clear whether the 13-inch M2 MacBook Air has always supported this standard, and Apple has just updated its website to reflect this, or whether Apple has also upgraded the Bluetooth in the 13-inch model. We've reached out to Apple to confirm. 

The 15-inch MacBook Air, despite being mere weeks old, has already seen a generous discount in the best Prime Day MacBooks sales ahead of the July 11-12 event.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9