When Apple introduced the AirPods in 2016, the company also implemented a new, simple, and intuitive way to pair wireless accessories with iPhones and iPads. Instead of going into the Bluetooth settings and pressing buttons, the system identifies a nearby accessory and prompts the user to pair it. In iOS 18, this quick pairing process will be available for the first time to third-party manufacturers, as 9to5Mac reports.

Thanks to a new API called AccessorySetupKit, as soon as an iPhone or iPad running iOS 18 detects a compatible accessory, it will show the user a window to confirm pairing with that device.

With a single tap, the system automatically establishes the Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection required by the accessory. This also means that users no longer have to manually grant Bluetooth and Wi-Fi permissions individually for each application of that accessory.

If the accessory requires a more complex pairing process, such as PIN verification, the iOS 18 API can also request this information from the user without having to open the app. Once the device is paired, additional information about it can be found in the new Accessories menu in the Privacy settings.

This change will allow third-party manufacturers to offer the same level of integration as Apple accessories with iOS.