Apple to Debut New AirPods This Year With Handsfree 'Hey, Siri' Voice Command Feature, 'Water-Resistant' Models Coming in 2019

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 22, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple is reportedly working on several upgrades to its wireless AirPods with a new version of the popular headphones set for release as soon as this year, according to Bloomberg.

    The new 2018 AirPods are said to come with an upgraded wireless chip that will let users summon Siri using the "Hey, Siri" voice command without having to physically tap the headphones, similar to the way iPhone and HomePod users invoke the virtual assistant. Currently, summoning Siri through AirPods requires users to double-tap the sides of the earbuds, although responsiveness to touch can occasionally be flaky. The upcoming version of the headphones are known internally as B288, according to today's report.

    The idea behind the third iteration of AirPods, said to be coming in 2019, is for the headphones to "survive splashes of water and rain", although they likely won't be designed to be submerged in water, according to Bloomberg's sources. That plan comes despite reports that current-generation AirPods survive being submerged in one foot of water for five minutes, and even come out the other side of a washing and drying cycle functioning as normal. That said, Apple doesn't advertise AirPods as water resistant, and a patent was in fact filed last April for a waterproof AirPods case that can double as an iPhone or Apple Watch charger.

    Designed by the same department that produced Apple's HomePod speaker, AirPods were first introduced in 2016 alongside the iPhone 7 sans headphone jack, as a wireless solution for users wanting to listen to audio through a headset. Since launch, AirPods have been considered one of Apple's top-performing products, apparently reflected in Apple's severely constrained supplies throughout 2017. Production capacity of AirPods was bumped up in the second half of last year, but Apple has consistently struggled to reach supply/demand balance. Despite tight supply, AirPods were the overall top selling electronic products during last November's Cyber Monday, according to online shopping data provided by Adobe.

    KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that Apple shipped 13 to 14 million AirPods last year, and he expects AirPods to remain one of Apple's most popular accessories through 2018, with shipments likely to double to an estimated 26-28 million units on a year-over-year basis. Separately, analyst Gene Munster has predicted Apple will eventually earn more from AirPods than Apple Watch.

    Back in December, Kuo also predicted Apple would release an upgraded version of AirPods in the second half of 2018. Kuo said one internal change on the second-generation AirPods will include a "smaller quartz component," but he didn't provide any further details about new outward-facing features or improvements to expect.

    During Apple's iPhone X event in September, Apple revealed that a rumored new version of its AirPods headphones were not in fact the "AirPods 2," but simply a new inductive wireless charging case that users will be able to purchase as a replacement for their current charging cases. The only design change made to the new charging case is the placement of the LED battery indicator light, which has migrated from the inside of the case to the outside on the front. No release date has been given for the wireless charging case, but there's a fair chance it could appear during a March event alongside Apple's AirPower wireless charging pad and new iPads. It's still unclear if Apple will offer a version that also includes the AirPods themselves at the typical $159 price tag.

    Article Link: Apple to Debut New AirPods This Year With Handsfree 'Hey, Siri' Voice Command Feature, 'Water-Resistant' Models Coming in 2019
  2. jsmith189 macrumors 65816


    Jan 12, 2014
    With my iPhone, iPad and HomePod already listening for Hey Siri... this is going to cause a bit of a mess, me thinks lol.
  3. BrettArchibald macrumors member


    Jul 31, 2007
    What I'd really like are some soft silicone tipped AirPods. That hard plastic is just too uncomfortable for me. :(
  4. KmanOz macrumors regular


    Oct 27, 2007
    How about a way to prioritise what device answers. Currently my watch answers and phone answers at the same time. I wanna buy a HomePod but will just add confusion on which Siri Im talking to.
  5. BulkSlash macrumors member


    Aug 20, 2013
    I think my biggest wanted feature would be auto-switching between devices rather than having to go into Control Centre each time I jump from my iPhone to my iPad. It's admittedly a minor annoyance but it would be a big time saver for me.
  6. pat500000, Feb 22, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018

    pat500000 macrumors 604


    Jun 3, 2015
  7. Dave245 macrumors 603

    Sep 15, 2013
    The AirPods are great if they update them i will buy them, i use mine daily and i'm thinking the battery will degrade soon since i brought the first gen when they were up for pre-order.
  8. telegix macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2005
    I think they said that has been addressed for the HomePod..
  9. maerz001 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 2, 2010
    Apple please focus less on Siri but more on hard- and software quality. Thanks
  10. BMcCoy macrumors 65816


    Jun 24, 2010
    It has. It works pretty well. I can have my iPhone in my hand, but only the HomePod responds. Cunning..
  11. Glideslope macrumors 601


    Dec 7, 2007
    A quiet place in NY.
    No kidding. Parties should be fun. ;)
  12. Exile714 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 14, 2015
    How about a user replaceable grill on the opening of the speaker hole?
  13. err404 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    Is water damage an issue for the current gen? From my experience what I have seen on YouTube, they are already very splash resistant. Even though it is not listed on the spec sheet. Unless they warranty water damage this won’t matter.
  14. Zaft macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
  15. rgeneral macrumors member

    Dec 2, 2012
  16. lionsy macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2010
    England, UK
    I wish they’d sort it out for everything else, yesterday I was sat at my computer and lifted my wrist up and said hey Siri set a time for twenty minutes, my watch set a time, my phone behind me set a timer and my iPad Pro listened then got confused.
  17. recoil80 macrumors 68000

    Jul 16, 2014
    That's the main reason why I bought BeatsX instead of AirPods.
    Give me an in-ear version of AirPods and I'll buy it instantly
  18. mejsric macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2013
  19. recoil80 macrumors 68000

    Jul 16, 2014
    I wish we could chose the activation command.
    Hey iPhone, hey Watch, hey HomePod etc.
    Hey Siri should be the general way to invoke Siri, and only one device should answer, like now. But I'd like to be able to address a particular device as well.
  20. vegetassj4 macrumors regular


    Oct 16, 2014
  21. 1Zach1 macrumors 65816


    Feb 8, 2008
    Northern Va
    Exactly what I want as well.
  22. 4jasontv macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2011
    Omg this. It at least different color cases so it's easy to tell them apart. I have tried a case, or as I like to call them "pocket friction".
  23. Ndalby macrumors newbie


    Sep 9, 2014
    Silicone or improved shape would be good not to mention...

  24. newyorksole macrumors 68030

    Apr 2, 2008
    New York.
    Why can’t I adjust Siri’s settings so it activates when I say “Hello Siri” when it comes to my HomePod and “Hey Siri” when it comes to my iPhone etc.
  25. chas_m macrumors newbie


    Mar 30, 2016
    I’m skeptical of this report for a couple of reasons:

    1. The AirPods are already resistant to water, ie sweat, which is roughly equivalent to “a splash of rain or water.” Does anyone here seriously believe that every time the AirPods get wet you have to replace them? Lol, no.

    2. While I could certainly see Apple producing a new and substantially improved AirPod in a couple of years, Apple does not tend to “burn” early adopters so much these days. I suspect it will get updated about as often as the Apple Watch or the Apple TV, for precisely the same reasons: they’ve made such a substantial change that new hardware is required.

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