Apple plans to introduce Automatic Device Switching to AirPods with the release of iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and macOS Big Sur later this year. This means your AirPods will automatically switch to whatever device you’re using.
But which Apple products does Automatic Device Switching work with?
- Will my iPhone support iOS 14?
- Will my iPad support iPadOS 14?
- All the new AirPods features announced at WWDC 2020
What is Automatic Device Switching?
During WWDC 2020, Apple gave the example of listening to a podcast on your iPhone, then watching a video on your iPad, then joining a conference call on your Mac. With Automatic Device Switching, your AirPods automatically connect to each device as you start using it.
This is an exciting continuity feature that will make it easier to use AirPods with other Apple devices. No more will you need to enter the Bluetooth settings to pair with your AirPods each time you switch devices.
Which AirPods support Automatic Device Switching?
When Apple releases Automatic Device Switching, you will be able to use it with any of these earphones.
- AirPods (2nd generation)
- AirPods Pro
- Powerbeats Pro
- Beats Solo Pro
Unfortunately, this means the original AirPods don’t support Automatic Device Switching.
Which Apple products support Automatic Device Switching
As far as we know, Automatic Device Switching should work with any iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or Apple Watch running iOS 14, iPadOS 14, macOS Big Sur, or watchOS 7.
Broadly speaking, that means Automatic Device Switching works with these devices.
- iPhone 6S or later
- iPad mini 4, iPad Air 2, iPad (5th generation), or later
- All iPad Pro models
- MacBook Pro (Late 2013), MacBook Air (Late 2013), iMac (2014), MacBook (2015), or later
- Apple Watch Series 3 or later
This means Automatic Device Switching doesn’t work with Apple TV boxes. And you may need to upgrade your other devices if they don’t work with the new software releases.
How to use Automatic Device Switching with your AirPods
When Automatic Device Switching becomes available in the fall. All you need to do use it is update each of your devices to iOS 14, iPadOS 14, macOS Big Sur, or watchOS 7. Then make sure you sign in to the same iCloud account on each device.
After that, just continue using your device as normal. Your AirPods will switch between each device as you start using it without you needing to do anything.
If you start out listening to music on your iPhone but start watching a YouTube video on your Mac, your AirPods will switch across automatically.
More AirPods features on the way
Automatic Device Switching is only one of several new AirPods features Apple announced at WWDC 2020. To find out what else in store for your wireless earbuds, check out our overview of all the new AirPods features.
Dan is a freelance writer based in South West England.
He spent two years supervising repairs as a Genius Admin for Apple Retail and uses that knowledge to keep our troubleshooting guides up to date.
Long before that, Dan turned to Apple products from a musical background. Having owned iPods for years, he bought a MacBook to learn sound recording and production. It was using those skills that he gained a first-class Bachelor of Science in Sound Technology.