iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 have been discovered to link the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max headphones to your Apple ID, which allows Apple to leverage its Find My network and make it easy to see the AirPods location on the map, even when disconnected from your iPhone.
- iOS 15 links AirPods Pro and Max to the owner’s Apple ID
- This makes your AirPods a part of the Find My network
- See AirPods’ location even when disconnected from iPhone
- Use Precision Finding once in Bluetooth range
In iOS 15, your AirPods use the Find My network
iOS 15 adds new features to AirPods, including Find My network support for AirPods. Apple has said that AirPods being included in Find My will permit the owner to use the Find My app to get an approximate location of a missing pair of AirPods Pro or AirPods Max.
As spotted by 9to5Mac in the iOS 15 code, Apple will accomplish this by tying the earbuds to your Apple ID. “Lost AirPods will continue to send their location to the owner through the Find My network even if someone else connects them to another device,” the site writes.
It’s important to point out that, despite being tied to an Apple ID, AirPods will not have an activation lock like iOS devices. This system will be more like what Apple currently offers with AirTag, which is tied to an Apple account but can be reset with a few manual steps.
9to5Mac also found animations showing how to unlink AirPods from the Find My network.
How to unlink AirPods from your Apple ID
These animations are accompanied by messages informing the user that the AirPods are currently linked to their Apple ID, saying that removing them will allow another person to configure the Find My network. “Removing these AirPods will allow another person to configure Find My network and it will no longer be linked to your Apple ID.”
It’s also interesting how you’ll unlink your AirPods from your Apple ID.
For AirPods Max, holding the noise cancellation button along with the Digital Crown for about 12 seconds should unpair the headphones from the Find My app. As for AirPods Pro, the steps are a bit more complicated and require holding your fingers on the speaker holes while pressing the button on the stems multiple times.
Before iOS 15, users could use the Find My app to see the last time and place their AirPods were online. However, older iOS editions wouldn’t continue updating AirPods’ location when disconnected because the earbuds were not part of the Find My network.
So, how’s this Apple ID linking thing supposed to work?
How iOS 15 integrates AirPods into Find My network
Similar to the AirTag item tracker, AirPods will advertise their presence to nearby devices via Bluetooth. When someone carrying an iOS device passes by a pair of disconnected AirPods, their device will pick up the AirPods signal and update the location of AirPods on Find My.
This will initially help you get within the Bluetooth range of your AirPods. Once in Bluetooth range, you can play a sound to locate the earbuds in the Find My app like you normally would. But now with iOS 15 linking AirPods to the owner’s Apple ID (again, just like AirTags) and registering them with the Find My network, you will finally be able to monitor their approximate location on the Find My map even when they’re disconnected from your iOS device.