Apple has finally included supported for FLAC audio playback with the new iPhone 8 and the iPhone X, along with the Apple TV 4K. The feature will also make its way to the iPhone 7 lineup after the iOS 11 update as reflected by the product pages of these devices. The support doesn’t extend to older devices like the iPhone 6s or the iPhone SE however, which could be due to hardware limitations.
Surprisingly, the iPad Pro product page doesn’t seem to reflect the new changes, although it features a very powerful A10X Fusion chipset underneath. In theory, however, even the iPad Pro lineup should be able to play FLAC audio files with the iOS 11 update. One big caveat with FLAC files is that Apple Music doesn’t support it. This means that those willing to listen to their favorite FLAC tracks will have to transfer it to their iOS device and play it through the Files app on iOS 11 or simply rely on a third party alternative like Plex or VLC.
It is important to remember that FLAC audio playback doesn’t reflect well on Bluetooth headphones or speakers. This means the users will have to use a pair of Lightning earphones to experience lossless FLAC audio on the aforementioned iPhones. It is hoped that Apple will offer FLAC as an alternative download option on Apple Music and iTunes in the coming months. But as it stands, it seems like the customers will have to copy it onto their devices and listen to them using any of the third party apps available from the App Store.