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Apple has some exciting features in store for its AirPods and HomePod

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Handing an AirPod to a friend to listen to that awesome new song you’ve discovered is no different (from a hygiene perspective) to sticking your finger into your ear, then into their ear, then back into yours. That’s why Apple has come up with a more hygienic, and not to mention convenient, way of sharing music using its AirPods.

Audio Sharing requires your buddy to have a set of AirPods and an iPhone. If they do, just bring your iPhone alongside theirs and wait a few seconds. An alert will then appear on your screen asking if you’d like to share audio with their Pods. Agree, and what you’re listening to will also come out of their AirPods, in real time.

Apple didn’t shed any light on how the feature works, but it presumably obtains the unique frequency your friend’s AirPods use to communicate with their iPhone, then bounces it to your iPhone, thus letting you to stream audio to their AirPods, as well as your own — a bit like the generic Dual Audio feature on the Samsung Galaxy S10.

What’s more, Apple announced at WWDC 2019 that it will be arming Siri with the much-requested ability to read aloud incoming messages. From there, you’ll have the option to dictate a response, in the exact same way you would if you were using Apple’s CarPlay platform, but without the added visual prompts.

There’s something for the HomePod, too

The Cupertino firm also has something in store for the HomePod. It’s bringing Handoff, the feature it developed to make using iOS and MacOS in unison a lot more intuitive, to the Pod — arming owners with the ability to share a song that’s playing on their iPhone with the entire room by bringing it alongside the smart speaker.

There’s no official word on when Apple will start rolling out the new tricks, however. Some believe the changes for the AirPods will be baked into iOS 13, which is scheduled to start making the rounds in September, while the HomePod will be treated to a separate upgrade via the Home app for iOS around the same time.

We’ll have to wait and see.

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Josh Levenson
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