Inside iOS 11: AirPods controls expand with separate left/right earpiece taps, skip track ability

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Apple's AirPods are currently limited to a trio of controls on both earpieces, but their functionality will be greatly enhanced this fall with the release of iOS 11, giving users the ability to give each wireless pod a separate, customizable function with a double tap.

With the iOS 11 beta releases, Apple's AirPods become more functional, thanks to new options found in the Settings app. To change them, dive into the Bluetooth settings, and then tap the "i" button to the right of AirPods when they are coneccted.

There, users will find new control options, including the ability to set different controls for the left and right AirPod. For example, the left AirPod could be set to play or pause a track, while the right one could invoke Siri.

Digging deeper into the settings, users will find that there are two new options for AirPod double-tap controls in iOS 11: "Next Track" and "Previous Track." This joins the existing controls of "Siri," "Play/Pause," and "Off."

Apple has been gradually adding new features to its AirPods since they debuted late last year, including a "Find My AirPods" feature that debuted in iOS 10.3 in January. Whenever AirPods connect to an iPhone or Mac, the finder feature queries the host device's positioning hardware to log the earbuds' location.

For more on Apple's forthcoming operating system update, see AppleInsider's ongoing Inside iOS 11 series.