AirPods 2 will work on pre-iOS 12.2 firmware, albeit with ‘limited’ functionality

When Apple’s second-generation AirPods became available to order from the Cupertino company’s website, asterisks discovered at the bottom of the web page denoted that the Bluetooth headphones would necessitate macOS 14.10.4, iOS 12.2, and watchOS 5.2 to be used. But is that really the case? Perhaps not…

Citing a post shared on /r/jailbreak by Reddit user TomLube just this week, Apple’s second-generation AirPods will work just fine on pre-iOS 12.2 firmware, albeit with semi-handicapped functionality.

Upon attempting to pair the second-generation AirPods with a non-iOS 12.2 handset, users can expect to see the prompt above, which encourages the user to update to iOS 12.2. On the flip side, a blue button at the bottom of the prompt entitled “Set up with limited functionality” appears to let users pair the device with on pre-iOS 12.2 firmware.

Using iOS 12.2 ensures that users have full access to the latest features, such as support for ‘Hey Siri,’ which is undoubtedly the most significant software-oriented difference between the first and second-generation AirPods.

As TomLube points out, using the second-generation AirPods on iOS 12.1.1 still presents the following benefits over the first-generation AirPods:

  • Wireless charging case
  • Slightly better battery life
  • Extra talk time
  • Better switching and pairing
  • “Vaguely” better sound quality

This is perhaps one of the first reports of ‘improved’ sound quality in the second-generation AirPods, and it’s worth noting that this could be a subjective opinion based on the differences in sound quality that may transpire between a broken-in pair of first-generation AirPods and the brand-new second-generation AirPods.

That aside, it appears that pre-iOS 12.2 users can still enjoy improved battery life and faster pairing with Apple’s second-generation AirPods over the original model, which is excellent news for jailbreakers who may not wish to upgrade from iOS 12.0-12.1.2 at this time.

For what it’s worth, users of Apple’s first-generation AirPods can purchase the wireless charging case separately for $79.00. Those curious about the differences between both generations of AirPods should check out our in-depth roundup.

At the time of this writing, it remains to be seen if the same holds true for Macs running pre-macOS 10.14.4 software and Apple Watches running pre-watchOS 5.2 firmware, but time will surely tell.

Are you happy to see that Apple’s new AirPods at least ‘partially’ support pre-iOS 12.2 firmware? Discuss in the comments section below.