With iOS 14, Apple introduced several features to improve the audio quality and connectivity of its AirPods. Here’s what you need to know.
When Apple released the newest update to iOS last month, most of the key features spoken about were the new implementation of home screen shortcuts, updates to messaging, and UI changes. While all of these features are interesting and useful, some iPhone owners might have missed the improvements that iOS 14 made to the AirPods experience.
With the launch of iOS 14, Apple introduced a wide variety of changes to the operating system, with most affecting how the OS looks on devices. However, there were some surprising updates to how things can sound. With iOS 14, there were several changes made to how AirPods work, including how they connect with devices and the quality of the sound.
The biggest of these updates are exclusively for the AirPods Pro. When used with compatible devices, AirPods Pro will now utilize spatial audio to create a 3D sound environment, much like the 3D audio announced for the PlayStation 5. This update uses dynamic head tracking and directional audio filters to bring sound to life. When using spatial audio, users can listen in a surround sound mode that makes audio much more immersive. Apple’s spatial audio will track the motion of the wearer’s head to keep 3D audio consistent and engaging. The new Motion API is also available for developer use, which could improve the way that many games and apps function.
How iOS 14 Improves Connectivity & Accessibility
iOS 14 also brought a lot of quality-of-life changes to AirPods. For example, the update added simple battery notifications to let a user know when their AirPods need changing. Users can also now easily switch between their devices automatically, as long as those devices are connected to the same iCloud account. While this is a great feature for those who use multiple devices, it can get annoying when it switches unexpectedly. Luckily, this feature can be turned off for users that find it frustrating or unneeded.
Apple has also added a new accessibility feature for AirPods wearers. When used, it can adjust the frequencies to better suit the listener’s needs. As an example, it can amplify quieter sounds to make them easier to hear, which could make a huge impact for users that are hard of hearing. For those with AirPods Pro, this feature can be used alongside Apple’s Transparency mode to make voices louder and adjust environmental sounds.
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