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At WWDC today, Apple announced new features for AirPods that will make it easier to find your earbuds, hear better while listening to your earbuds, and even keep up with your notifications.
If you lose your AirPods, changes in iOS 15 will make it easier to find them. AirPods owners will be able to locate their AirPods using the Find My network in a way that is similar to Apple’s new AirTags.
Both the AirPods Pro and the AirPods Max will send out a Bluetooth beacon that nearby iOS devices can pick up.
Not only can you look for your lost AirPods, anyone else near to them will detect them and report their location.
One advantage of Apple’s AirTags is the ability to pinpoint their location. Apple added a similar proximity view to Find My that’ll let you know when you are close to your AirPods.
You also can use a “Play Sound” option that’ll cause your AirPods to chirp, making them easier to find.
Another new feature Apple added to its AirPods is Conversation Boost. As its name implies, conversation boost uses Spatial Audio to enhance the conversation with the person standing in front of you.
Using “computational audio and beamforming microphones” the AirPods can reduce the amount of ambient noise, allowing you to focus on the conversation at hand. Though everyone can use this feature, it will be most beneficial for those with “mild hearing challenges,” says Apple.
Last but not least, Apple added a new Announce Notifications feature that enhances Siri on the AirPods. In iOS 15, Apple’s voice assistant will read priority notifications from connected Apple devices. Besides the existing support for messages, iOS 15 will read off a shopping list or delivery notification, for example.
All these new features will be bundled into iOS 15, which will be released publicly later this year.