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Apple Announces Gesture-Based Siri Interactions, Voice Isolation Features for AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)

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Apple introduced several new improvements for its AirPods lineup during the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2024 keynote session on Monday. The Cupertino-based tech giant has added new gesture-based controls to interact with Siri, capabilities for head-tracking while playing games, and improved sound during voice calls. These features will be available on specific AirPods. Currently, these features are available to try for Apple Developer Programme members in developer beta. Notably, a previous report claimed that the tech giant is working on a more affordable version of its truly wireless stereo (TWS) earphones that could arrive later this year.

AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) get new features

While AirPods did not dominate the announcement cycle during the keynote session of the WWDC 2024 event, Apple introduced some major improvements for its TWS devices. The AirPods Pro (2nd Generation), which were launched in September 2023 with the H2 chipset, now get advanced capabilities which will be powered by the Apple silicon.

Gesture-based Siri interactions are going to allow users to respond to the virtual assistant without any verbal or tap-based feedback. With this capability, AirPods Pro 2 users can nod to say yes and shake their heads to say no to Siri announcements. Apple says this could be helpful when the user is in a crowded or quiet area and might not want to speak out loud.

Siri Interactions, which are enabled by the H2 chipset, also allow users to answer or dismiss calls, interact with messages, manage notifications, and more via gestures.

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Another new feature exclusive to AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) is Voice Isolation. This feature is already available on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and is now being expanded to the latest AirPods Pro. Voice Isolation improves the voice quality of the speaker and removes background noise to deliver clearer audio quality during calls. The company said it used machine learning via the H2 chipset to bring this feature to the TWS device.

AirPods get personalised Spatial audio for gaming

Apple is also adding Personalised Spatial Audio to multiple AirPods variants. This feature comes with dynamic head tracking that will be activated when the user is playing a game while using the TWS earphones. While designed for gaming, it will also deliver immersive audio when listening to music, watching movies, and more.

AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) users will also be able to use this feature to get improved audio latency when gaming on the iPhone. Further, they will also get 16-bit, 48KHz audio quality when speaking to teammates and other players within a game using its servers.

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