iOS 14: AirPods, Powerbeats / Pro, Beats Solo Pro Will Support Auto Device Switching, AirPods Pro Getting Spatial Audio

Apple’s big WWDC opening event came to a close not too long ago and while everyone continues to process what went down, there was one announcement that came out of left field. Apple says that AirPods and AirPods Pro are getting some new features, starting with the ability to automatically switch devices.

AirPods and AirPods Pro can already switch devices super easily, but they require manual intervention. Apple says that will no longer be the case, with earbuds automatically switching from one device to another when they deem it right to do so. Powerbeats, Powerbeats Pro, and Beats Solo Pro will also be supported.

That, in theory, means you can be listening to music on your Mac and have your AirPods automatically switch to your iPhone when a call comes in. The iPad will also support the same automatic switching, too.

As for AirPods Pro, they’re getting a new spatial audio feature that will mimic a theater experience all the way up to Dolby Atmos. The idea of 3D audio in headsets and earbuds isn’t new, but Apple says it will use gyroscopes and accelerometers to track how devices and a user’s head move, allowing the sound field to move accordingly.

AirPods gain the ability to seamlessly switch between Apple devices with automatic device switching.7 Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking brings a theater-like experience to AirPods Pro. By applying directional audio filters, and subtly adjusting the frequencies each ear receives, sounds can be placed virtually anywhere in a space to provide an immersive listening experience.

Apple is also releasing a new Motion API for developers to access to the Motion-detecting accelerometer, for things like orientation, user acceleration and rotational rates.

Users will be able to take advantage of these new features when macOS 11 Big Sur, iOS 14, and iPadOS 14 are made available to the public later this year.

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