Apple’s new iOS 12.2 developer beta includes a new hidden setup screen which confirms “Hey Siri” support will arrive within a new, next-generation version of AirPods.
The setup screen, uncovered by 9to5Mac, shows AirPods users will be able to simply say “Hey Siri”, like on HomePod, and activate Siri on their paired device, such as an iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple Watch. The current generation AirPods do not support “Hey Siri”, and rumors have long suggested the feature would arrive with “AirPods 2”.
The Apple Post shared a report on Wednesday, via Digitimes that suggested Apple could unveil its next-generation AirPods within the first six months of the year, making discrete design changes to the tiny earbuds to add new ‘health monitoring’ features.
Whilst iOS 12.1 beta 1 has outed Apple’s plans to add “Hey Siri” support to the wireless earbuds we’re still no closer to knowing when exactly the product will launch. – During the launch of the iPhone X back in 2017, Apple said it would release a new wireless charging case for AirPods that would allow users to top-up the charge of their case by placing it on AirPower, Apple’s still unreleased wireless charging mat. Given we’ve now (finally) started to see reports to suggest AirPower is in production ahead of a launch scheduled for later this year, one possibility is that Apple will release the next-generation AirPods 2 and an accompanying wireless charging case alongside AirPower this year.
Apple quickly showed off “Hey Siri” support within the opening video to Apple’s “Gather Round” event in September which saw the company introduce the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR and Apple Watch Series 4.
The video which saw an Apple employee running across the Apple Park campus to deliver an item to Tim Cook ahead of the Keynote included a scene in which the character appear to use “Hey Siri” on their AirPods, suggesting updated AirPods would launch during the event, although they never did.