In case you missed it, Apple released its highly-anticipated second-generation AirPods on Wednesday with some notable under-the-hood improvements including the brand-new H1 chip and a Qi wireless charging-compatible case.
But as you might come to expect from Apple, the release of new hardware often requires newer software with support built-in, and the Cupertino-based company’s second-generation AirPods are no exception to this general rule of thumb.
Hidden in the fine print at the bottom of Apple’s website depicting the new AirPods is an asterisk that potential users should pay close attention to:
Requires an iCloud account and macOS 10.14.4, iOS 12.2, or watchOS 5.2.
Indeed, Apple’s second-generation AirPods will necessitate imminent software updates for macOS, iOS, and watchOS. The macOS 10.14.4, iOS 12.2, and watchOS 5.2 updates are each in their beta testing phases at the time of this writing, and as such, we’d expect them to be publicly available any day now.
Update: It was recently revealed that Apple’s second-generation AirPods will work fine on pre-iOS 12.2 firmware, although some features such as ‘Hey Siri’ will not work unless users update.
As insignificant as this may seem at first glance to most everyday Apple device users, it certainly has implications for the jailbreak community, which has gained significant traction in recent months with the release of unc0ver for iOS 11 and 12. With the latest jailbreakable firmware being iOS 12.1.2 at the time of this writing, it seems that jailbreakers won’t have an official way to use Apple’s second-generation AirPods out of the box.
Albeit just speculation, it’s possible that a talented jailbreak developer could devise a tweak to add compatibility to older (jailbreakable) firmware versions in the future. Still, it remains to be seen if such a tweak will (or could) ever materialize.
Whether or not you’re excited about the upcoming macOS 10.14.4, iOS 12.2, and watchOS 5.2 firmware versions, Wednesday’s product launch appears to confirm the compelling notion that these software updates are just around the corner.
What are your feelings toward Apple’s requirements for the second-generation AirPods? Let us know in the comments section below.