Apple is reportedly adding hands-free Siri and water resistance to its next AirPods

Bloomberg reports that Apple has a couple of interesting features in store for upcoming versions of its AirPods wireless earbuds.

We heard back in December 2017 that Apple had plans for new AirPods; this year, they’re slated to get a new wireless chip for improved wireless chip. That’ll allow for access to Siri without having to physically tap the earphones; you’ll be able to invoke the assistant with just a voice command.

Next year, they’ll also be water resistant, so they won’t go kaput if you’re caught in the rain.

That’s good news for Apple fans and people who are already comfortable using Siri. Google Assistant only recently became available on headphones, starting with the QC35 II set from Bose; it also features in the smaller Pixel buds from Google (which also manage real-time translation). And while Amazon’s Alexa has made it into headphones, it’s yet to be baked into wireless earbuds. Apparently, it’s not easy for third-party manufacturers to pull off without significantly affecting battery life.

While I’m more interested in higher sound fidelity and battery life in upcoming wireless audio gear, access to assistants for things like help with navigation wouldn’t hurt. Oh, and wireless charging would be nice: Apple is slated to launch an AirPods case for that this year too, so it might have a truly compelling offering on its hands by 2019.

The Next Web’s 2018 conference is just a few months away, and it’ll be ??. Find out all about our tracks here.

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