Amidst all the excitement around iOS 14, iPadOS 14, macOS Big Sur and watchOS 7 at the WWDC 2020 keynote, Apple clearly didn’t forget the very important piece of the jigsaw. The AirPods wireless earbuds line-up. If you have an Apple AirPods second generation or the Apple AirPods Pro, you are set to receive a software update any time in the coming weeks which will make the experience a lot more fun. If you own a AirPods Pro, AirPods (2nd generation), Powerbeats, Powerbeats Pro or Beats Solo Pro earbuds or headphones, you will be able to enjoy automatic switching between Apple devices, as you use them. And the AirPods Pro users have the extra special feeling incoming, with the addition of Dolby spatial audio experience. All these features will be a part of iOS 14, iPadOS 14, macOS Big Sur, tvOS and watchOS 7.
The AirPods as well as the aforementioned Powerbeats headsets will get the ability to switch seamlessly between your Apple devices, such as the iPhone, iPad and Mac. You will need to be signed in with the same iCloud ID on all these devices for the switching to work. The way seamless switching works is that it will detect what you are using the iCloud linked devices for to see if you’d need your AirPods for that and enables the automatic change. For instance, you may be watching a video on your MacBook and you get a call on your iPhone or a WhatsApp message with a video, the AirPods will be able switch instantly to allow you to receive the call or watch that video without disturbing anyone. And vice-versa.
If you have the AirPods Pro, you will soon be able to enjoy the spatial audio feature. Basically, this will be 3D audio to give you a more theater-like experience. There will be directional audio filters and the frequencies that are delivered to each ear are adjusted to provide the feeling of immersive audio and space. Apple says that there will be constant adjustments for changes in head position, the angle or the position of the device you are watching the content on as well as elevation changes (relevant while you are in an aircraft). The Spatial Audio will automatically activate when you start watching content that has Dolby 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound streams.
Apple will also be adding the ability to share audio from the Apple TV streaming devices, which means two users with AirPods will be able to enjoy the same movie together without disturbing anyone else, if that is the need of the hour.
AirPods will also get more detailed battery notifications, so you’ll know well in advance when it is time to charge up, ahead of the gym session or the outdoor time.