At WWDC, Apple announced new features for the AirPods Pro such as Conversation Boost and Ambient Noise Reduction to improve audio quality during calls. In a new move, the company is now releasing a developer beta firmware with the new features for developers to test. Prior to this release, developer betas for AirPods hardware were never released.
The two new features: Conversation Boost and Ambient Noise Reduction will improve the call experience for users. It is an important feature as most people across the globe continue to work from home (WFH) due to the lockdowns enforced because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Conversation Boost is a beamforming technology which focuses on the words uttered by an AirPods wearer. It improves the call quality for the person on the other side by putting more emphasis on what the user is saying. It can immensely improve conversations – be it informal calls or formal meetings.
On the other hand, Ambient Noise Reduction is a noise suppressing technology. It reduces the background noise in calls made using AirPods. In a demo video, showcased at the WWDC keynote, a woman enables the Ambient Noise Reduction feature when somebody in the background starts a machine with a whirring sound.
Pre-release AirPods Pro firmware for Apple Developer Program members will be available at a future date. This will allow development of features on iOS and macOS for AirPods as well as enable new features, including Conversation Boost (beam forming) and Ambient Noise Reduction (noise suppressor).
Apple does not allow users to manually update the firmware of AirPods. All three AirPods models – regular AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max – update automatically when paired to an Apple device and are in charging mode. The company could release special profiles for developers to test the developer beta of AirPods Pro firmware.