Apple iOS 14 features for AirPods: automatic switching, spatial audio

  • AirPods will soon be able to automatically switch between connected devices when new Apple software launches in the fall.
  • Currently, you must navigate to a device’s Bluetooth menu to switch your AirPods to another Apple device.
  • It is one of the many features that Apple announced during its World Developers Conference on Monday.
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AirPods owners will have something to get excited about when Apple releases its next software updates in the fall.

Apple is finally making it easy to switch between devices while using AirPods, which means you won’t have to manually connect wireless headphones when you want to switch from your iPhone to your Mac or iPad.

Apple made the announcement during its presentation of the World Developers Conference on Monday.

Currently, you need to navigate to the Bluetooth settings on the device you want to switch to while using AirPods to jump between compatible devices. That means that if you are watching Netflix on your iPad but want to switch to your iPhone to receive a call or listen to music, you should choose your AirPods from the iPhone’s Bluetooth settings.

But when Apple’s new software updates for iPhone, Apple Watch, Mac, and iPad start this fall, you’ll be able to switch devices automatically as long as they’re associated with the same iCloud account.

This feature will only work for second generation AirPods and AirPods Pro, not for the original AirPods that debuted in 2016. Other Apple headphones like Powerbeats, Powerbeats Pro and Beats Solo Pro. You will also get the new automatic switching capability.

Apple has made improvements in the past when it comes to how quickly AirPods can connect to devices. It is one of the few differences between the second-generation AirPods that Apple released last April, for example, and the original model. In addition to supporting Siri hands-free access, those newer AirPods were able to connect to devices more quickly than their predecessor, which I noticed when I reviewed them around launch.

Still, having headphones that can automatically switch between your paired devices while using them seems like the experience we’ve always wanted and expected from AirPods.

It’s one of several new features that Apple announced for AirPods during WWDC, along with battery notifications that alert you if your headphones need charging and spatial audio for AirPods Pro. Apple claims that spatial audio will create a more cinematic experience when listening through from AirPods by applying directional audio filters and adjusting the frequencies each ear receives. It also takes advantage of the AirPods gyroscope and accelerometer to help track the movement of your head.