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Apple releases new AirPods beta firmware to developers

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Following the release of iOS 16.1 beta 4 earlier this week, Apple today released a new AirPods beta firmware to developers. It’s unclear, however, what’s new in the update as Apple doesn’t provide details on AirPods firmware updates.

The new AirPods beta firmware has the build number “5B5040c,” while the previous one was “5A304a.” With iOS 16, Apple has revamped the AirPods menu within the Settings app with a section dedicated to showing details about the current firmware. However, release notes for the beta firmware are still to be added there.

The previous AirPods firmware update, which was made available with the public release of iOS 16, added the “Personalized Spatial Audio” feature and improved Automatic Switching. It also added support for the higher-quality LC3 audio codec.

To install beta firmware on your AirPods, connect your iPhone to Xcode in order to enable the Developer menu in iOS. After that, turn on the “Pre-Release Beta Firmware” toggle under the Developer menu. According to Apple, it can take up to 24 hours for AirPods to update after enabling this option.

It’s worth noting that in order to install the beta firmware on AirPods, the iPhone or iPad on which they are paired must be running iOS 16 or iPadOS 16. The firmware update is available for AirPods 2, AirPods 3, AirPods Pro, AirPods Pro 2, and AirPods Max.

Adaptive Transparency bug

With the release of iOS 16.1 beta 3 last week, owners of the first-generation AirPods Pro and AirPods Max noticed that the update enabled the “Adaptive Transparency” option for these earphones. While it was unclear whether the feature was actually coming to older AirPods or not, Apple later removed the option with iOS 16.1 beta 4, confirming that it was just a bug.

Have you noticed any new features available for your AirPods after installing the beta update? Let us know in the comments section below or on Twitter, @9to5Mac.

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