Along with the latest beta updates for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS, Apple has released new AirPods firmware update 5E133 for AirPods (2nd and 3rd generation), AirPods Pro (1st and 2nd generation), and AirPods Max which includes performance improvements and bug fixes.
The company has also introduced a new way for AirPods users without an Apple device to update their headphones to the latest firmware.
AirPods users with Android and Windows devices are advised to visit an Apple Store to update their firmware
AirPods series headphones receive over-the-air firmware updates and can not be updated, manually. The headphones are automatically updated when charging and placed within Bluetooth range of an iPhone, iPad, or Mac connected to Wi-Fi.
As the aforementioned mechanism restricts AirPods users without an Apple device to update their headphones, Apple’s solution is to book an appointment at an Apple Store or an authorized service provider to update their firmware.
The new instruction is added in the updated support document for anyone only using AirPods with an Android or Windows device and does not have an Apple device nearby. It reads:
If you don’t have an Apple device nearby, you can set up an appointment at an Apple Store or with an Apple Authorized Service Provider to update your firmware.
Personally, this recommendation appears to be an inconvenience for users as it requires them to book an appointment and visit an Apple store or service provider for a firmware update.
Furthermore, AirPods owners with an Android or Windows device can check their headphone’s firmware version through the Settings app like owners with an Apple device.
Apple is strongly requested to release an AirPods management app for Android and Windows users to receive firmware updates, and check their firmware version. The company already has a Beats app for Android devices to receive firmware updates for their Beats headphones.