Only a handful of the new features that iOS 18 delivered to the iPhone were shown out at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2024 on June 10. One feature that Apple did not promote but is expected to be included in the next update is the ability to give developers the choice to give third-party accessories an AirPods-like setup experience. Developers will be able to utilize a new API that Apple is bringing to guarantee a more frictionless setup experience.

A fresh setup procedure for accessories from third parties

Documentation on Apple’s developer website indicates that AccessorySetupKit, a new API, will be introduced in iOS 18. The iPhone may establish a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection with accessories that have names or photos supplied by the app by using this API.

“Seamless, privacy-preserving user consent and control for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Local Network permissions” is what Apple claims this new API enables.

Currently, an easy pop-up window that appears when the product is brought close to the iPhone or iPad may be used to couple Apple goods like AirPods and AirTag. This removes the need for several previously necessary processes, such manually accessing the device’s settings, turning on Bluetooth, choosing the attachment, and entering the PIN. Rather, all it takes to link the Apple attachment is a simple tap.

According to the creator of the iPhone, apps that are connected with the AccessorySetupKit may access additional accessory functions, such renaming and pairing removal. There is a possibility that the attachment may automatically trigger rapid pairing by opening a pop-up window when the user approaches the iPhone.

Apple states that the AccessorySetupKit API is now in beta testing. Following its WWDC 2024 keynote, the firm made the iOS 18 Developer 1 Beta available for download and usage on iPhones for those who have enrolled as beta developers. The first developer beta of iPadOS 18 also includes the API.

Compatibility with iOS 18

iPhone XR and subsequent models, including the most recent iPhone 15 Pro Max, are compatible with iOS 18. This implies that the update will be available for all iPhone devices running iOS 17. Older versions might not have all of the features, though.