iOS 10.3 comes with a feature to end "AirPods are made to be lost" jokes: Find my AirPods
Ever since Cupertino announced the Bluetooth-connected earphones, the potential for losing them has become a regularly-used punchline in about 60% of Apple-related jokes. Now, we won't be discussing whether they are funny or not — the fact remains that misplacing one of the tiny earbuds remains a legitimate concern, especially if you are a little messy.
A while ago, a crafty app developer published an app, called Finder for AirPods. It was a simple and nifty little piece of software, which helped you find the little buggers by showing you how close you are to them. However, Apple promptly removed the app from the App Store with little explanation given. Turns out, it probably did so because it had this feature baking.
So, how does the official Find my AirPods work? As we mentioned, it's accessed through the Find iPhone app. There, next to all your iPhones and iPads, you will now also be able to see your AirPods. Do note, however, that they will be updated on the map only if they are currently in the vicinity of and connected to one of your iOS devices. You can also have the earbuds play a sound, making it easier to find them if they are stuck in an unknown pocket, under your blanket, or in your pet's belly. Wait, actually, we are pretty sure you wouldn't hear them if that last one happens to be the case. Keep them away from pets.
So, it this a case of Apple "stealing" a feature from an app developer? Looking at the timing of things, we are much more prone to believe that the company had this planned out and cooking for iOS 10.3 long before, so, in our opinion, no it's not.