Apple has announced that AirPods will be getting some quality-of-life improvements with iOS 15, including the ability to boost the sound of people talking to you, better Find My support, and the ability to announce a wider range of notifications.
Apple says the “Conversation Boost” feature for the AirPods Pro will help people who have difficulties hearing other people’s voices, especially in crowded conditions. The headphones will try to isolate the voice of the person in front of you, with sliders that let the user control how much ambient noise is let in.
AirPods can already announce messages and texts, but now they’re getting the ability to read out other important notifications, like when a food delivery is made. There’s also support for announcements based on location-tagged tasks in Reminder — in its announcement today during WWDC 2021, Apple used the example of having Siri read out your grocery list when you get to the store. Users will be able to choose which apps can read out messages, and Siri will respect Do Not Disturb and Focus settings.
The easy-to-lose headphones are also getting more Find My abilities, including an AirTag-like proximity view that tells you how far away your buds are. The AirPods Pro and Max will also be able to tap into the Find My network, contacting other people’s Apple devices to show you their location. They’ll be able to chirp whether the headphones are in or out of the case.
AirPods will also support the new separation alerts, which will notify you if you’re about to leave them behind.
AirPods will, of course, support the spatial audio in FaceTime feature announced earlier in the show, as well as spatial audio on Macs and Apple TVs.