Apple’s new AirPods 2 will let owners use Siri with just their voice, according to new options found in the most recent iOS beta's menus.
The beta version of iOS 12.2 was released on Jan. 25, and among the changes found by the staff of 9to5Mac (via Engadget), was a setup screen for AirPods, which shows that users will be able to set up voice commands for Apple’s digital assistant, by saying the magic words: "Hey Siri".
The feature will work like other smart devices, Alexa, Google Assistant and so on, by constantly listening for its wake word. You won't need to double tap the AirPods as you do now.
Apple showed off this voice-only feature in the presentation it gave at a launch event in September 2018 for the iPhone XS and XR. It’s been some time coming, but it’s not uncommon for some things that Apple formally announces to take a while to reach the market - look at the problems that the AirPower charging pad has faced, that still has yet to release since being first shown in 2017.
Other AirPods 2 Features
Apple’s AirPods 2 look to be close to going on sale though, going by their Bluetooth certification in November and this most recent discovery. It’s been suggested that there might even be two models: one being similar to the current AirPods, and the other having more advanced features like health and fitness tracking.
A recent Appe patent talks about "health, fitness, exercise and wellness sensors," but it's not yet clear how they will work.
Bluetooth 5.0 support should mean that you'll enjoy longer range than with the current AirPods along with longer battery life.
Other changes in the iOS 12.2 beta, which will likely reach normal users in a few months’ time, including lightly modified user interfaces for Apple Pay and Siri’s music related functions, and an air quality forecasts in Apple Maps.