macOS 12.3 beta features a new framework that can update AirPods, without the need for an iOS device. So far, AirPods are automatically updated via a paired iPhone or iPad, but the same functionality has not been possible via a Mac.
AirPods can get firmware updates via macOS 12.3
9to5Mac has discovered that they were able to update AirPods Pro to their latest firmware using a Mac on macOS Monterey 12.3 beta. The update process is still automatic on Mac, so there is no way to force an update or monitor its download or installation progress.
Unlike iOS, macOS 12.3 beta does not show the current firmware version for connected AirPods either, which means that it is still lacking in functionality compared to an iPhone or iPad. However, it will still be a welcome addition as users should be able to update AirPods even if they only own a Mac.
While there is no manual procedure to force AirPods to update, keeping them connected via Bluetooth to an iPhone, and plugged into a charger usually does the trick. We expect the same workaround would work with a Mac, however, we are secretly hopeful that Apple might release some improvements to this so that there is more transparency and control over AirPods firmware updates.
Apple has not shared any official announcement for this feature so there is no confirmation that it will make it to the final public version of macOS 12.3. We will continue to monitor future beta releases for any updates to this feature.
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