There’s another AirPods firmware update. And no, we don’t know what it does

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Apple rolled out yet another AirPods firmware update Wednesday, and once again declined to offer any details whatsoever about the changes it contains.

Software version 6A321, an update for the 3rd-generation AirPods from 2021, is detailed in Apple’s AirPods firmware page with the usual boilerplate release notes of “Bug fixes and other improvements.” As my colleague Jason pointed out a couple of updates ago, Apple tends to use this language even when an update contains only bug fixes, with no “other improvements” at all.

Of the 14 update release notes on that page, in fact, 12 simply say “Bug fixes and other improvements.” Compare this to the extensive release notes you can find on the security content of iOS 17.2, for example, and the difference is stark.

In other words, we don’t know which bugs Apple decided it needed to fix. But we do know that the iOS 17 cycle has seen more of these updates than is usual: we’re now up to a total of seven firmware updates since iOS 17 came out in September, compared to six for the entirety of iOS 16. The latest software must be unusually buggy.

In contrast to iOS and other Apple operating systems, you don’t simply upgrade your AirPods to the new firmware. Instead, it will automatically install at some slightly unpredictable point in the near future when the AirPods are in their case and charging. If you’re wondering which firmware version your AirPods are running, open the Settings app, select your connected AirPods, scroll to the About section, and check Version. You can also find this information in General > About > AirPods.


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