(Pocket-lint) - Apple has released the iOS 10.3 software update for iPhone and iPad, and it introduced a new feature called Find My AirPods.

Find My AirPods makes it easier to keep track of the Apple AirPods wireless earphones. It works with AirPods that are connected to an iOS device via Bluetooth, meaning it can only locate AirPods that are nearby, but if your AirPods were lost out of range of an iPhone, it does offer up some location clues. Here's everything you need to know, including how the feature works and its limitations.

How does Find My AirPods work?

Find My iPhone app

If you haven't already, download the Find My iPhone app on your iOS device, or locate the feature from iCloud.com. Find My AirPods is a new function within Find My iPhone. If your AirPods are not in their case but are connected to an iPhone, they will appear on the Find My iPhone map (just like an iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, or Mac). If your AirPods haven't been used recently, they'll be marked "offline".

Locating lost AirPods (nearby)

If you have misplaced your AirPods somewhere nearby, Find My AirPods can locate it by playing a chirping sound that gets louder.

  • Open Find My iPhone on an iOS device (or from iCloud.com).
  • Tap AirPods in the list.
  • Tap Actions.
  • Tap Play Sound. If only one AirPod is missing, you can mute the sound coming from the AirPod you haven't lost.
  • To stop the sound once the AirPods are found, tap Stop Playing. 

Locating lost AirPods (far away)

If your AirPods aren't connected to your iPhone, they cannot play a sound. But you can still use Find My AirPods to figure out their last-known location. The last place they were connected to an iPhone over Bluetooth will be displayed in the Find My iPhone app. Just tap the little car icon to get Apple Maps directions for the last-known location.

Is that it?

Just remember your AirPods cannot play the chirping sound while they're in the case. Also, Apple does offer AirPods replacements if one is lost and can't be found. It costs $69 to replace a single AirPod or to replace the AirPods Charging Case.

Writing by Elyse Betters.