iOS 12 was announced yesterday and there are a bunch of new features and changes that will be coming to the platform. However given the number of changes, it’s not surprising nor was it expected that Apple could or would announce all of them on stage. One of those features that was not announced has to do with the AirPods.
In a report from TechCrunch, it appears that iOS 12 will be bringing Live Listen to the AirPods. For those unfamiliar with Live Listen, this is a special feature that was previously only available for hearing aids that were certified by Apple’s MFI program. It was launched in 2014 and when paired with iPhones, would allow the iPhone to be used as an omnidirectional microphone, meaning that the user could point their iPhone at the person they’re talking to. This would come in handy especially in crowded and noisy environments.
With iOS 12, it appears that this feature will soon be usable on the AirPods which means that anyone, not just those with hearing aids, will be able to take advantage of the feature. Alternatively it could also appeal to those who might have a hearing impairment but still want to use the AirPods anyway.
As TechCrunch points out, this feature by no means transforms the AirPods into a hearing aid, so don’t think of it as a replacement for a proper set of hearing aids, especially if you’re in need of one.