AirPods with “Hey Siri” support reportedly due in 2018, water resistant model in the works too

Those who have been waiting to pick up a pair of AirPods should consider waiting a tad longer as it looks like we could see an upgraded version sometime this year.

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Apple’s AirPower wireless charging pad will reportedly ship in March


Apple’s wireless charging pad, dubbed AirPower, will likely ship in March, according to a new report from the generally reliable Japanese blog MacOtakara. While Apple pre-announced the multi-device Qi charging accessory last September with an ambiguous 2018 release date, the blog suggests that its development cycle may have been prolonged due to special challenges in charging the Apple Watch Series 3.

AirPower is designed to simultaneously refuel 2017 or newer iPhones and Apple Watches, as well as 2016 AirPods when the devices are placed inside an upcoming wireless charging case. Although the concept seems simple — place up to three devices wherever you want on the white pill-shaped surface — the engineering was apparently difficult. For one thing, iPhones demand more power than AirPods and Apple Watches, and any of the devices might be placed anywhere on the pad.

MacOtakara suggests that extra engineering was needed to enable Apple Watch Series 3 charging using the Qi-based AirPower. The Apple Watch’s convex back was originally designed only to charge with non-Qi concave magnetic chargers, versus a flat Qi surface. AirPower apparently uses a special radio signal to detect the latest Apple Watch and enable it to charge over Qi — a feature that “can be used only by Apple,” according to the report.

Apple has not divulged pricing for AirPower, but some have speculated that the pad may sell for an astounding $ 199, based on a placeholder price listed last November on a Polish website. The Apple Store currently sells Apple-made wireless Apple Watch charging cables for $ 29 and third-party wireless iPhone charging pads for $ 60, suggesting that a three-device charger would likely go for less. AirPower is expected to be available simultaneously in Apple and third-party retail stores.

Apple – VentureBeat

Apple reportedly prepping new AirPods models, including water resistant version

Apple AirPods review

Apple’s AirPods have become a popular option for iPhone owners looking to go totally wire-free with their headphones, and today a new report has come out that lays out some of the improvements that Apple is planning for future AirPod hardware.

Apple is prepping a new model of AirPods for release as early as this year, say sources speaking to Bloomberg. These new AirPods will reportedly have an upgraded wireless chip and the ability to activate Siri by saying “Hey Siri” rather than tapping the headphones.

Looking even further down the line, it’s said that Apple is working on water resistant AirPods for release as early as 2019.

While still unofficial, these sounds like good user experience improvements that’d make sense for Apple to make to AirPods. You can already activate Siri using just your voice on other Apple products like the iPhone and HomePod, so it makes sense to do it with AirPods to create a more unified experience and to ensure users don’t have to keep reaching their hand to their ear to use Siri.

Water resistance is another feature that’d be great to have on the AirPods. Wire-free headphones make great workout companions, ensuring that you don’t have to deal with a wire hanging from your ears to your phone or resting on the back of your neck. And while some people work out with Apple’s current AirPods even though they aren’t advertised as being water resistant, Apple launching officially water resistant AirPods would likely be attractive to a lot of people.

Have you tried Apple’s AirPods?

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