iOS 16 is slated to bring a wide assortment of feature additions and changes, but AirPods users will be pleased to learn that Apple has consolidated the headphone settings page to make it easier to use. The tech giant first announced the upcoming software release in June at the Worldwide Developers Conference, an event focused on developers and software. It won’t make its way to all users until later this fall, but public and developer betas help shed light on the changes. Although many of the upgrades are touted by Apple through keynotes and release notes, some are smaller and go unannounced. For example, the company hasn’t officially mentioned the changes to AirPods settings, but it is one of the most useful changes in daily use.
The main selling point of AirPods is their convenience and integration with devices in the Apple ecosystem. There are three models of AirPods — the standard third-generation AirPods, the AirPods Pro and the AirPods Max — that are each best suited for different uses. Regardless of the model, all three pairs of AirPods feature integration with Apple products, including fast pairing and automatic device switching. Since the products are so easy to use right out of the box, it isn’t likely that the average user will voyage into the settings menu to modify the headphones. However, with the new menu front and center in iOS 16, it’s easy to play around with AirPods settings and find the suitable configuration for each user.
Before the changes in iOS 16, the settings menu for AirPods took quite a few taps to reach. Users had to open the Settings app on their iPhone, open their Bluetooth settings, and tap the small ‘i’ next to their AirPods to tweak the settings. There are a few important settings that users can change through the AirPods settings menu, but with so many taps required for access, most users likely didn’t ever take a look at the menu items. With the second developer beta of iOS 16, the AirPods settings menu was moved to the first page of the Settings app on iPhone when a pair of headphones is connected. This makes it easier for users to find — and modify — the settings of their AirPods.
To view the new AirPods settings menu on iOS 16, users have to look no further than the homepage of the Settings app on their iPhone. After opening the Settings app, users are typically greeted with their Apple ID information, any available offers and crucial settings such as WiFi and cellular. On the developer beta of iOS 16, the settings menu for a connected pair of AirPods is nestled directly between the user’s Apple ID information and critical settings. This makes the menu nearly impossible to miss and features the new AirPods icons featured throughout the software. Tapping on the menu item will bring up a slightly redesigned settings menu in a single tap.
The iOS 16 AirPods settings menu displays an icon for the type of headphones connected — that is surprisingly color-accurate to the specific model — alongside the current battery percentage. This is all found right at the top of the menu, so it is quick to check the battery of AirPods without using a battery widget on the iPhone home screen. Underneath the battery percentage, users can change the name of the headphones and the current noise cancellation mode. Depending on the model, they can also change the way any buttons or dials function on their AirPods. The Ear Tip Fit Test and Personalized Spatial Audio are accessible from this menu, as well as a new ‘Show in Find My’ option. Most of these features were present in previous versions of iOS, but the upcoming release makes finding and changing AirPods settings quicker and easier than ever before.