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A way to recover lost AirPods is among the new features Apple previewed on Tuesday.
The "Find my AirPods" feature enables the "Find my iPhone" iOS app to find any AirPods within Bluetooth range of a signed-in iOS device. Similar to the "Find my iPhone" feature, a charged AirPod could be shown a map of where the wireless earbuds were last connected, or could be found by activating a "specially designed sound" that the Wall Street Journal describes as a chirp.
"Find my AirPods" will help address a major criticism of the $159 untethered earpods — that they are easy to lose. Though CEO Tim Cook said the wireless earbuds rarely fall out, their appearance and steep replacement price has made them somewhat of a punchline. Despite missing most of the holiday shopping season, Cook has called the AirPods a "runaway success."
Unfortunately, the "Find my AirPods" feature isn't available to the public just yet — it was rolled out as a preview for app for developers, who can use the early version to test their apps and software with the new features.
Giving app makers a voice, Siri on the watch
Also in this release, Apple showed a preview of a feature that allows developers to respond to App Store reviews. The developer response will appear indented below the customer review it is associated with.
While you may not look forward to getting a retort from the App Store, Apple's relationship with its app developers is of growing importance.
Software and services is Apple's fastest-growing revenue segment and expanded at a record clip last quarter. Apple has introduced search ads, quickened the pace of App Store approvals, and made coding easier to lure more developers to its platform.
In addition, the release includes and update that will allow more apps to use Siri on the Apple Watch.
Siri is facing fierce competition from Amazon's Alexa, which has quickly emerged to be the leading voice-activated artificially intelligent assistant in consumer electronics. Last year, Keyvan Mohajer, founder and CEO of natural language processing start-up SoundHound, told CNBC that Siri's quality could improve faster if developers could innovate on the platform.
"It is understood that Siri hasn't improved that much over the past 6 years," Mohajer said.
The updates will come with the iOS 10.3 operating system.