This year’s WWDC is still underway, but Monday’s keynote was packed with announcements. AirPods and AirPods Pro took up a bit of screen time, but there were far more updates to existing hardware than there was time for the event. Here’s everything you need to know, from the headline acts to some super cool shows.
AirPods and AirPods Pro without interruptions
This is a good advance. Currently, there is no headphone pairing with a device that is as smooth as AirPods. Open the battery case near your iPhone and you’re done. With the next update for AirPods and AirPods Pro, which will happen in the background this fall when iOS updates, you’ll be able to seamlessly switch between different devices. It’s already easy between iPhone and Apple Watch, but when you want to move between two other Apple devices, you need to go to Settings for the second device to take possession. Mind you, that is still smoother than most non-Apple devices.
With the next update, when you stop listening to a podcast and start watching a movie on your iPad, the AirPods or AirPods Pro will know and change accordingly.
Space Audio AirPods Pro
Surround sound effects are common when you are watching a movie on television. But it’s hard to get that sense of sounds coming from behind, in front, or even above a pair of headphones. Spatial Audio is coming, for AirPods Pro, not normal AirPods that will give that surround sound effect. Uses AirPods Pro accelerometers and gyros …
Did you know there were gyroscopes on the AirPods Pro? Me neither, and this will be the first time they have been used. Literally only Apple would build hardware because they knew it would add a whole new software feature later.
It will mean that when you shake your head while watching the movie, the audio will move with you, so the hero’s dramatic speech will still seem to come from his lips and not to the side.
This will work with audio content encoded in 5.1, 7.1, and Dolby Atmos. An API will be released soon so stereo audio can benefit as well.
AirPods and AirPods Pro Headphone Adapters
With this feature, with its nice and pleasant name, you can adjust the audio of the AirPods to suit your individual hearing. It works to amplify soft sounds and tune in for you. Go to Settings and Accessibility, and in Audio Video you can choose custom audio settings that will help you listen to some different audio clips. You choose the one that sounds best to you.
There are three different application settings, and each has three different strengths. This works with second generation AirPods and AirPods Pro, Powerbeats Pro, Beats Solo Pro and even the Apple EarPods that ship with every iPhone.
Transparency mode of AirPods Pro headphone adaptations
If you are using AirPods Pro, the headphone setting supports transparency mode. This makes voices more audible by adjusting the sound to your surroundings and listening needs. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to this as a way of listening to someone on the other side of a noisy table instead of just smiling and nodding all night.
AirPods and AirPods Pro Audio shared with Apple TV
You can now share your audio with someone else through your headphones, whether the music comes through iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Soon, that will apply to Apple TV 4K. Each person listens through their own headphones and each has their own volume control. This works with all versions of AirPods and AirPods Pro, plus Beats headphones with the W1 or H1 chip.
All of this comes this fall. I can not wait
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