Apple Is Adding This Feature to Find Lost AirPods

January 24, 2017, 6:49 PM UTC
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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 07: A pair of the new Apple AirPods are seen during a launch event on September 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. Apple Inc. unveiled the latest iterations of its smart phone, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, the Apple Watch Series 2, as well as AirPods, the tech giant's first wireless headphones. (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)
Stephen Lam — Getty Images

Owners of Apple’s AirPods earphones will have another method to help track the wireless earbuds should they become lost.

The tech giant announced on Tuesday that the beta version of its upcoming iOS 10.3 software will include an update to the Find My iPhone app, specifically targeting the new accessories.

Like previous iterations of Find My iPhone, the app locates an owner’s mobile devices on a map, which will now also include where the AirPod earpieces were most recently located. Users can also make the app trigger a specially designed sound be emitted from one or both pieces of the AirPods. The app relies on the Bluetooth wireless signals emitted by the AirPods, which can be received by an iPhone or iPad signed in to the owner’s iCloud account.

The hot-selling $159 AirPods have gotten positive reviews, but many have fretted about how easy it is to drop or misplace the inch-long white plastic pieces. Apple charges $69 to replace each lost AirPod piece.

An outside developer had posted an app in the Apple App Store a few weeks ago that purported to help find lost AirPod pieces, but Apple (AAPL) pulled it quickly, deeming it not appropriate.

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The tech giant introduced the AirPods back in September when the company unveiled its new iPhone 7 line, confirming its long-rumored—and controversial—design decision to remove the headphone jack from the iPhone entirely. The high-tech wireless earphones didn’t go on sale until December, but then they quickly sold out ahead of the holidays.

The AirPods, Apple’s first wireless model sold under its own brand, quickly dominated the wireless headphone market, according to shopping tracker Slice Intelligence. In the year prior to the debut, the Apple-owned Beats brand topped online sales of wireless models with a 24% market share, trailed by Bose with an 11% share and Jaybird at 8%.

But after AirPods went on sale, they grabbed 26% of online wireless sales, Slice found. Bose was second at 16% and Beats dropped to third with 15% of the market during the period considered.

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