The original pair of AirPods weren't the smartest earbuds you could get, but they were a good first step. They're easy to use, have good battery life and pair really well with a cellular Apple Watch.
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So how could Apple top a success? There are a couple of ways.
Do expect better Siri
While it may have fallen behind Google Assistant and Alexa, Siri is still a big deal for Apple. It's worked to make it easier to use on the Apple Watch, for example, enabling the digital assistant with a simple wrist raise.
Siri isn't as easy to use on AirPods though, as you have to bring your hand up to your ear. Bloomberg reported that the second-generation AirPods, which Apple may finally debut at its 30 October iPad event, could fix the problem.
The new AirPods would come with a brand new wireless W2 chip that would enable better "Hey Siri" functionality. So instead of double tapping the AirPods to activate Siri, you could use say Apple's magic words. Plus, that W2 chip will improve its connection to your phone and likely improve battery life.
The other big feature is a wireless charging case so that the AirPods could work with Apple's now-mystical AirPower charging mat, which is also rumoured to debut at the 30 October iPad event. Apple may even sell the wireless charging case separately so all those first-gen AirPods users can get in on the action.
Don't expect anything smarter
The 2018 edition of the AirPods looks to be a more moderate update, but if you're wondering about an even smarter pair of AirPods, you'll have to wait until 2019, according to Bloomberg.
The third-generation AirPods are likely to be water resistant so that they could survive splashes of water and rain. You won't be able to swim with them or anything like that, but it's good to know you won't have to worry about them in bad weather.
The 2019 AirPods could also sport noise cancelling features, but a premium feature like that would also likely see the AirPods rise in price. Or, at the very least, come in multiple pricing tiers like the iPhone, according to Bloomberg.
What we won't see for a couple of years is a far more advanced pair of AirPods with built-in health sensors, like a heart rate sensor or ECG. Apple isn't big on trends, so it will likely bide its time until sensors are cheap and the time is ripe, and then pounce.
In the meantime, we'll have to wait and see Apple continue to iterate on AirPods until it can eventually build up to an ambitious pair of hearables. Seeing as wearables are a big source of growth for Apple right now, it's a matter of when and not if. And the when isn't on 30 October.