AirPods users now can go to an Apple store to update firmware
If you don’t own an Apple device, now you can bring your AirPods to an Apple Store to update their firmware.
Apple’s AirPods, naturally, work best with Apple products, but you don’t have to use a pair of AirPods with an Apple product. However, that makes it hard to do some things, like update firmware. So, Apple has recently updated the AirPods firmware support page to address this issue, noting that “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.”
So, if you find yourself in a situation where you love your AirPods but want to switch to an Android phone, for example, you don’t have to worry about missing important firmware updates for your AirPods. Yes, this will mean you have to take a trip out into the real world to update your AirPods, but these sorts of updates don’t come along all that often anyways. More importantly, having a way to update your AirPods is certainly better than not having one at all.
With Beats products, which are owned by Apple, you can update your firmware via the Beats app for Android; however, AirPods does not have an equivalent app for Android. Furthermore, you can’t even update your AirPods via your computer, either, regardless of if you’ve got iTunes installed. Essentially, the only way you can update your AirPods’ firmware, before now, was via an actual Apple device.
Lastly, it’s important to note that you can get your AirPods updated at not just an Apple Store but also Apple Authorized Service Providers, so if you don’t have an Apple Store near you, you may well luck out and be able to visit an Apple Authorized Service Provider, instead. Though, of course, neither of these places are exactly as ubiquitous as Apple devices are out there in the wild, so it still may be more efficient to just borrow a friend’s iPhone to use to update your AirPods.