Apple’s next high-end earbuds are expected later this year, but a new report from Apple commentator Mark Gurman suggests that some predicted features may be missing, such as the game-changing health monitoring which have been highly anticipated.

Here’s everything we’ve learnt from Gurman’s latest missive, in his latest Power On newsletter.

Release date

Gurman says this is still scheduled for this year, which will be three years since the original AirPods Pro. By the way, I’d expect the next model to be called AirPods Pro second generation rather than AirPods Pro 2.

Though he doesn’t specify the date, I’d expect Apple to announce the next AirPods Pro at an event in September or October. That’s not certain, though: the originals were revealed in a behind-closed-doors event on October 28, 2019, and released two days later. The same arrangement could apply for the new earbuds.

Gurman also says that this new release is “about time”: after three years, early adopters may find their current earbuds have flagging batteries—though that’s not been my experience.

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Health monitoring

For a while now, there have been rumors of new health-related features for the next AirPods Pro. Apple exec Kevin Lynch hinted last June about how the sensors in different devices could talk to each other with new features which would be possible.

The first sensor predicted was so that the earbuds could measure the wearer’s heart rate through their ears. This is a neat extra which would be of real benefit for someone out for a run, for instance.

Secondly, a temperature sensor has been predicted, to measure the user’s body temperature. Again, this could be very useful.

However, the disappointing news is that Gurman says neither will arrive this year, which means we’re waiting for AirPods Pro 3 to reap the benefits, assuming the feature is still developed.

That’s not certain, though Gurman says, “I’m told that neither feature is likely to arrive in the 2022 upgrade, though both enhancements have been explored inside the company and could arrive one day.”

Let’s not hold our breath, then.

Even so, big updates are still expected in the 2022 model, including better voice calls and even, just possibly, lossless audio playback. Better battery life is on the cards, too.

We’ll know later in the year, but check back for updates as we have them.

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