Apple’s iOS 15 update includes a high-quality ambient sound generator with rain and ocean sounds for iPhone owners, but finding it can be a challenge.
When Apple launches iOS 15 later this year, playing soothing rain, stream, and ocean sounds on an iPhone will no longer require a separate app. The announcement of the latest operating system was so packed with new features that not much time was given to this hidden gem, but it could prove to be an unexpected favorite for many iPhone owners and whether used at work to escape encroaching noises or at home to relax and drift off at night.
Apple announced iOS 15 at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June of 2021, showcasing the new design for its Safari browser with tab groups, greatly expanded FaceTime capabilities that include sharing videos and songs with a group, faster Siri interactions, and a system-wide Quick Note feature that makes it easy to keep relevant information associated with web pages, photos and more. iOS 14 was a big update but iOS 15 might have even more changes and improvements. Updates to macOS, iPadOS, and watchOS came at the same event, so Apple didn’t have time to explain every feature in complete detail.
A somewhat hidden iOS 15 feature allows an iPhone to play soothing, ambient sounds in the background, including three high-quality nature sounds and three variations of white noise. Anyone eager to try this out can download the prerelease version of the iPhone’s next operating system from Apple’s beta website, however, some might want to wait for the official release which is expected to arrive in September, since beta releases can lead to unexpected problems that interfere with normal operation. For anyone that installs iOS 15, the controls might be difficult to find as they are somewhat buried within the Accessibility settings.
iPhone’s Background Sounds: Explained
When running iOS 15, an iPhone has a background sound option tucked away in the Settings app under the Accessibility tab. Scrolling down to the ‘Hearing‘ section and then tapping ‘Audio & Visual‘ followed by ‘Background Sounds‘ will reveal the controls. The sound choices include ocean, rain, and stream sounds and these are high-quality audio samples. There are also three white noise options, bright, dark, and balanced, for anyone seeking a neutral background that might help mask annoying real-world sounds. The general volume can be set here, as well as the mix of foreground and background sound to use when other media is playing, such as music or a video. The combined sound feature can also be disabled, which will switch to a mode that temporarily pauses background sound while media plays.
iPhone owners might be surprised just how useful this capability is. A high-quality white noise generator is great for getting into the zone, masking environmental sounds when noise-canceling isn’t possible. The watery burble of nature is recognized to be very beneficial for anyone having trouble sleeping. With Apple’s new background sounds feature in iOS 15, iPhone users will be able to mask environmental noise at work and throughout the day while relaxing in the evening with peaceful rain or ocean ambiance.
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