Apple’s relationship with audio has been extremely influential. Since 2001 when the first iPod was unveiled by Steve Jobs, the company has strived for the democratization of audio tools and devices for all of its customers.
The beginning of change
Most recently, Apple has unveiled and released Spatial Audio with the iOS 14 Beta 2. Only available with AirPods Pro, this feature gives users a unique perspective of the content they are enjoying. Using a wide range of algorithms and variables, Apple engineers are able to deliver clear and crisp audio that makes you part of the action.
Even though it didn’t get a whole lot of stage time in WWDC 2020, I felt intrigued as to how this would really work. The way two sets of small earbuds would replicate the feel of a multi-speaker set up was something that seemed too good to be true. I was a non-believer at first, but I just had to wait to see what the Cupertino people had in store for us.
My personal experience
After some months of saving up, I finally decided to get myself a pair of AirPods Pro, and this coincided with the release of iOS Beta 2. After pairing them and updating my software version, I decided to check out the new features with AirPods, and I was not disappointed. Testing Spatial Audio was a treat. Just by using Noise Cancelation, I felt fully immersed in the content. To think that this is amazing is an understatement. After watching films like Roma or Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (both with Dolby support), I was in complete awe as to how my experience was enhanced by this simple feature that is completely invisible to the user.
Changing landscape of the film industry
Now more than ever, with movie theaters being closed due to the global pandemic, people are trying to find substitutes for the cinematic experience, and this is a step closer to that. Sound has always been an extremely important element of filmmaking, and to see these kind of features being slowly rolled out to consumer products says a lot about what audiences are able to give up, but what does it tell us about Apple? It’s simple, the fact that they are intruding new technologies and software to replace other experiences like going to the movies, it can also work as a precedent for a massive take-over by the fellas at Cupertino. Showcasing tech and features like this is going to become even easier in the future, and it could make Apple the pioneer in completely replacing theaters with their devices. This, the great speakers on the MacBook Pro and iPad Pro line of products and the addition of new display technologies like the ones embedded in the Pro Display XDR can point to a solid decision and path to enrich different experiences such as media consumption and creation
Alas, we will just have to wait. Maybe this is the strategy behind launching Apple TV+ last year. As we know, Apple doesn’t shy away from revolutionizing giant industries, and the film and television industry have been due for a change for a couple of years. Perhaps, this is part of Apple’s master plan.
What do you think about this? Do you prefer enjoying films in theater or on your mobile devices? Is there any special feature you’d like to see on coming products or software versions related to audio or video? Tell us your opinion down below or on our social media:
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