HomeWinBuzzer NewsiOS 18 Brings Simplified Pairing for Third-Party Accessories

iOS 18 Brings Simplified Pairing for Third-Party Accessories

The AccessorySetupKit API in the upcoming iOS 18 allows iPhone users to more seamlessly connect third-party devices to Apple's smartphone.


During the WWDC 2024 event, Apple announced iOS 18, the OS that will power the next generation and current models. With plenty of new features to discuss, some slipped through the net on the day. For example, revealed a new API within named AccessorySetupKit. This API aims to extend the hassle-free setup experience characteristic of AirPods to third-party accessories.

Streamlined Pairing Process

The AccessorySetupKit API simplifies how third-party devices connect with iPhones and iPads. Users no longer need to dive into settings or adjust permissions manually. When a compatible device is detected, a popup prompts users to approve the pairing, after which the system handles all related connectivity tasks automatically.

For accessories requiring extra steps such as PIN code entry, the API can manage these without requiring users to open an app. After pairing, users can view detailed device information through a new menu in the Privacy settings. This update enables third-party accessories to offer a setup and user experience comparable to Apple's own devices, which have historically been superior in this aspect.

Availability and Rollout

Both accessory apps and the devices themselves will need updates to support the new API. Consequently, the improvements will not be available until the official release of iOS 18 in the fall, though a developer beta is currently accessible, with a public beta planned for next month.

The introduction of the AccessorySetupKit API is expected to allow third-party manufacturers to provide a setup experience on par with Apple's own devices. This initiative removes the previous advantage Apple-held, especially evident in the seamless pairing of AirPods and Apple Watch.

More New Features in iOS 18

While I would not say iOS 18 is an overhaul of Apple's mobile platform, it does bring important changes. For example, the Photos app was given a revamp, adding a fresh interface, enhanced organization tools, and new features aimed at streamlining photo discovery.

Satellite messaging is also coming to iOS through this update. This builds on the Emergency SOS via satellite, expanding it to include standard text messaging without needing Wi-Fi or cellular service. Apple also introduced Genmoji, a feature that leverages AI to allow users to generate their own emojis. 

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.