During its WWDC 2024 keynote last week, Apple announced that iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 will let apps offer AirPods-like pairing for more Bluetooth or Wi-Fi accessories.

In apps that implement this new pairing process, users would be able to connect accessories to their devices directly in the app, without having to open the Settings app. In addition, Apple said this pairing process increases privacy by preventing accessory makers from gaining visibility into other devices on the user’s local network.

Developers can add the AirPods-like pairing process to their apps with the new AccessorySetupKit framework, with more details available in this WWDC 2024 coding video.

iOS 18 is currently in beta for developers, and a public beta will be released in July. The update should be widely released in September, but it will take time for accessory makers to add support for this pairing process to their apps.

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