Tech for your connected self

Apple plans to add water resistance and 'Hey Siri' to AirPods, says report

One step at a time

Apple AirPods are a runaway success, and the Cupertino company is naturally looking to upgrade them to keep people buying them. But no, they're not getting upgraded into sensor-packed health hearables just yet.

Or at least so claims the latest report from Bloomberg, which says the company is planning to make AirPods water resistant. There is a catch though: they won't be ready until early 2019. These AirPods won't be designed to be submerged in water, but will be resistant to a splash of water or rain. That means you'll be able to take them for a run and not worry about them bugging out.

Read this: The best hearables and smart buds to buy

Before those water resistant AirPods come out, Apple is reportedly planning another update for later this year - likely to be released alongside the next iPhones in September 2018 - that will feature improved Siri functionality.

Instead of tapping the AirPods twice to activate Apple's voice assistant, you can simply utter those two magical words, "Hey Siri". Voice assistants are generally useful because they require little to no physical interaction, so this might encourage us to use Siri a little more.

This year's new AirPods will also gain the new W2 wireless chip, which made its debut on the Apple Watch Series 3, to help improve its Bluetooth connection. If this can help cut down on audio cutting out when you put your phone in your pocket, we're all for it.

It's a little disappointing Apple doesn't seem to be ready to do more in health right now, but this also isn't a company that jumps on trends right away. It'll likely take its time, wait until sensors are cheap enough and it feels the time is right, and then will likely pounce. That time isn't now, so we'll have to wait until Apple beefs up the AirPods with other features in the meantime. Of course that's assuming Bloomberg is right on this. As ever, we won't know until we actually know.

Either way, the wearable business is a big sector of growth for Apple now. It's not going to sit on its hands as everyone else races forward. These two new generations of AirPods are a good sign of that.

And finally: Second generation Apple AirPods will launch in late 2018


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