Opinion: Find My is finding faults with my AirPods
Let me set the scene: I was walking back from a friend’s house one evening, and I receive the first of two notifications that I’ve left my AirPods Pro somewhere, along with with an approximate address. However, after a frenzied check, I found they were still in my pocket.
This has happened numerous times before, ever since iOS 15 launched in September 2021. Even when my AirPods Pro were replaced the month after, the issue remains to this day – and it’s a notification that can cause me anxiety in record time.
Having to quickly check my pockets or my bag to see if the AirPods case and two earphones are there can result in a frustrating swipe on my Apple Watch to be rid of the FindMy notification. It’s got to the point where I’m tempted to remove my AirPods from the app completely.
Frankly, it’s ridiculous that these false notifications are still occurring, especially as I was hoping for it to be fixed in iOS 15.4. But as it still remains, and the fact that it’s not a hardware issue, what could it be?
FindMy has been around since iOS 5, where it was previously called Find My Friends, and used as a way of keeping track of friends and family who would allow their devices to be followed through the app.
But in 2019 it was turned into FindMy, where you could look at all your devices registered to your Apple ID, and in 2020, with the introduction of AirTags, other products could be registered to the app.
I’ve never had an issue with Find My. In fact, I’ve found it to be a useful app to play a sound from my iPhone for when I’d lose it deep in the couch, for example. But my patience is starting to wear thin with these notifications.
The above image is when I received the final notification, after my walk home, where this appeared as I was sitting down at home, playing Fortnite.
Granted, I can go to my AirPods Pro in FindMy, go to ‘Notify When Left Behind’, and switch this off. But, what happens if I actually do lose my AIrPods?
It only takes one mistake to leave them behind, and as AirPods, bafflingly, don’t have an AirTag or a speaker built into their cases, it can be tricky to find them, ironically.
This feature works by measuring the proximity between your iPhone and your AirPods, and will send a notification with its last known location. But far too often now, I’ll get these as I’m walking home, or on a train, or just sitting down.
This isn’t good. It reinforces a growing narrative that the software quality of some Apple apps is degrading, and one of the worst things that a user can feel when using a product is frustration.
This is what’s happening now to FindMy, and hopefully, once iOS 16 is announced, we’ll see this feature either fixed or replaced with a better method for judging proximity between devices.