Apple’s AirPods Will Gain ‘Live Listen’ Feature with iOS 12

Later this year, Apple is going to launch iOS 12 to the public. And while the company had plenty to show off yesterday during WWDC’s keynote, there are still some elements of the new software still waiting to be discovered.

For instance, something called “Live Listen”. For those keeping track, this isn’t a specifically new feature all by itself. Live Listen was actually introduced by Apple back in 2014, and it’s designed to allow the iPhone to pair with hearing aids. The phone will then serve as a remote microphone, and the hearing aids can pick up the audio.

That same feature is being rolled into the AirPods later this year along with the launch of iOS 12, according to a report on Tuesday published by TechCrunch. This will allow the iPhone to serve as that external microphone, and the audio can then be played through the truly wireless headphones.

“After enabling the feature in the iPhone’s settings, users will be able to use their phones effectively as a directional mic. This means you can have AirPods in at a noisy restaurant with your iPhone on the table, for example, and the voice of whomever is speaking will be routed to your AirPods.”

Apple plans on launching iOS 12 sometime this fall, more than likely near the end of September. It is also worth noting that there are rumors that Apple may be launching new AirPods this year. However, this new report doesn’t seem to suggest this feature will be tied to any new models, so it stands to reason this feature will be available for the AirPods you can buy right now.

Our Take

This is a solid new addition to the feature set for AirPods to be sure. It isn’t designed to be a hearing aid replacement by any means, but it’s certainly a nice addition.

[via TechCrunch]