Apple AirPods Pro 2 might have mind-blowing features, but there’s a catch — Forbes | Hot Mobile Press

July 7th update below. This entry was first published on July 4, 2022.

Apple’s next high-end earbuds are expected later this year, but a new report from Apple commentator Mark Gurman suggests some predicted features could be missing, such as the much-anticipated groundbreaking health monitoring.

July 7 update. It looks like the audio improvements promised for iOS 16 are also arriving for existing members of the AirPods range, although that’s for developers only. It will later be available to all users. When the AirPods Pro 2 are released, they will surely have these upgrades as well, so we can add them to the list of upcoming features below. It is worth noting that the firmware will be available for all AirPods except the very first ones, i.e. second generation AirPods, third generation AirPods, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. Here are the details…

An AirPods beta software update has just been released for developers to access. This update came shortly after the third iOS 16 developer beta and is an update to the beta firmware developers received shortly after WWDC in June.

This software offers an improvement to the auto-switching feature, allowing you to seamlessly switch from listening on your iPhone to your iPad or Mac, for example. Bugs and stability fixes are also mentioned for this new firmware.

All of this builds on the introduction of something called Personalized Spatial Audio, which uses the iPhone’s front-facing TrueDepth camera to create a personal profile for playing Spatial Audio content.

Most importantly, the LC3 codec is included in the beta firmware. This is designed to deliver better quality audio calls and could be transformative for AirPods Pro 2 in other ways – full details on this cool upgrade here.

While it’s only possible to install it if the headphones in question are paired with an iPhone running iOS 16 or an iPad running iPadOS 16, I’d say it’s a safe bet that the features will be available in AirPods Pro 2 will be included. Now back to the other new features and the spike in the tail.

MORE FROM FORBESApple AirPods Pro 2: surprise leak reveals stunning upgrade

Here’s everything we learned from Gurman’s latest writing in his latest Power On newsletter.

release date

Gurman says that’s planned for later this year, which will be three years since the original AirPods Pro. By the way, I would expect the next model to be called the second generation AirPods Pro rather than AirPods Pro 2.

While he doesn’t give the date, I’d expect Apple to announce the next AirPods Pro at an event in September or October. That’s not certain, though: the originals were unveiled at a behind-closed-doors event on October 28, 2019, and released two days later. The same arrangement could apply to the new earbuds.

Gurman also says this release is “high time”: after three years, early adopters might find their current earbuds have draining batteries – although that’s not my experience.

health monitoring

There have been rumors of new health-related features coming to the next AirPods Pro for a while. Apple executive Kevin Lynch hinted last June at how the sensors in different devices could communicate with each other with new features that would be possible.

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The first predicted sensor was such that the earbuds could measure the wearer’s heart rate through their ears. This is a nice extra that would be of great use to a runner, for example.

Second, a temperature sensor is provided to measure the user’s body temperature. Again, this could be very useful.

The disappointing news, however, is that Gurman says neither will arrive this year, meaning we’ll wait for the AirPods Pro 3 to take advantage, assuming the feature is still being developed.

That’s not certain, though Gurman says, “I’ve been told that neither feature is likely to be available in the 2022 upgrade, although both improvements are being studied within the company and may one day be available.”

So let’s not hold our breath.

That said, big updates are still expected in the 2022 model, including better voice calls and possibly even lossless audio playback. Better battery life is also on the horizon.

We’ll know later in the year, but keep an eye out for updates as soon as we have them.

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