A refresh to Apple’s wireless earbuds was glaringly absent during Wednesday’s iPhone keynote. But while the announced hardware was skimpier than expected, the hoped-for AirPods 2 might have been teased at the very beginning of the yearly tech ceremony. Most notably, the video added to speculation that the second-generation of AirPods will come with Siri integration and be much more waterproof.
The product launch kicked off with the traditional hype video featuring an Apple employee rushing to get CEO Tim Cook a slideshow clicker before the presentation, but this year’s could have contained a massive Easter egg. The woman tasked with delivering the goods is rocking a pair of AirPods as she stops in front of a lake, asks Siri a question without tapping her earbuds or reaching for her iPhone, and dashes across the water. The voice assistant responds to her seamlessly and the earphones are completely unscathed as she sprints out of the water, two things that aren’t possible at the moment.
Currently, AirPod users need to either tap one of the buds or activate Siri on their phone to ask the A.I. a question; and splashing the headset in water could result in water damage. Could this have been a hint at two features coming to the AirPods 2?
These upgrades align with predictions that an AirPod refresh would come with an always-on “Hey Siri” feature and water-resistant technology. The first came from famed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in February who claimed Apple is cooking up a pair of over-ear AirPods. The second was from Bloomberg scoopster, Mark Gurman, who reported a refresh of the buds would bring with it noise-cancellation capabilities and water resistance.
The AirPods seen in the video don’t appear to be aesthetically different that the original ones, but the fact that Apple seemed to be showing off rumored capabilities has raised some eyebrows.
There were many other omissions from this year’s keynote, including the long-awaited AirPower charging mat, redesigned iPads, potentially some new MacBooks. None of these hopes came to fruition when Apple executives took the stage, but there’s a chance that the company might host another press event before the year is up.
Following last year’s launch of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, the company hosted two other presentations on November 3 and December 14 to unveil the iPhone X and iMac Pro. Apple could still have something up their sleeve and it could very well be the AirPods 2.