Apple is updating AirPods, so that those with hearing difficulties can use them to highlight conversations, as well as linking in Find My Network support for those times you misplace your earbuds or headphones. The new features were announced alongside iOS 15 at WWDC 2021 today.
Conversation Boost will use computational audio and beamforming microphones, for focus the audio from the person you’re facing. It’ll be possible to tune that focus too, within the settings, to narrow down the “cone” of attention.
Siri is also able to announce information, depending on what you’re doing and where you are. If you’re at the grocery store, for example, then Siri will be able to automatically read out your shopping list.
Do Not Disturb, meanwhile, and the new iOS 15 Focus feature will selectively filter or block all of Siri’s announcements. You’ll be able to select which apps are, and are not, allowed to use the Announce Information feature, too.
In Find My, there’s new AirPods location options. As with Apple AirTag, if you lose an AirPod you’ll get the option to locate them on the map in the Find My app. Apple uses anonymous Bluetooth connections with other devices in the wild to increase the likelihood of actually finding the earbuds.
You’ll be able to see the last location that was recorded through the Find My Network, as well as make the earbuds play a sound. That’ll happen even if they’re inside the case.
Elsewhere, the recently announced Spatial Audio is also coming to tvOS, so that with dynamic head tracking you’ll be able to hear different elements of the mix. M1-powered Macs will also be getting Spatial Audio support.
Powered by Dolby Atmos, Spatial Audio support in Apple Music is launching today.