26 October 2021
Apple at WWDC 2021 announced the iOS 15 that brings a long list of features, including improvements to FaceTime, Messages, and notifications. There is also a new Live Text feature and the Wallet app has received new support. Apart from these iPhone-specific features, iOS 15 is also bringing new features to one of Apple's important accessories – AirPods.
At the keynote, Apple announced what new iOS 15 features the AirPods headphones will gain for even better audio performance. The first feature is “Communication Boost,” which has been designed to help people with mild hearing challenges. The feature focuses on the person talking in front of you.
As Apple touts it, the feature takes the advantage of the AirPods’ computational audio and beamforming microphones and boosts the sound of the person talking in front of you when in a busy environment. Thus, people with mild hearing problems will be able to hear perfectly and follow along. Apple also points out that in order to experience even better sound, you can reduce the amount of Ambient Noise Reduction.
The second feature is “Announce Notifications.” As the name implies, AirPods will speak notifications to you in case your phone is not near to you. Siri via AirPods will also read the reminders to you.
There are also improvements to Find My integration to make it easier to find your lost buds. There is now a precision finding interface in the Find My app to help you locate your lost buds quickly. Apple explains that Oother iPhone owners can help you locate your lost AirPods through the Find My network. Others with iPhones can relay your AirPods location to the network and then back to you Find My app.
Also, iOS 15 is adding new Separation Alerts in case you leave behind our AirPods. Your connected iPhone will notify you as soon as it detects that you’re leaving your AirPods behind.
Apple further announced AirPods will support spatial audio in FaceTime as well as in Macs and Apple TVs. Spatial audio support is coming to tvOS this fall. Once available, you will be able to enjoy a surround experience using the AirPods Max over-the-ear headphones.