To give Apple its due, it listened and turned the mandatory change into an optional one.
Since it was announced back in June, anticipation for the new iPhone software has been building. It hasn’t always been a smooth ride: one change in Safari where the address bar was moved from the top to the bottom of the screen was hotly controversial.
September 21 update. Apple today confirmed that new features relating to Apple Music have now gone live for users who have iOS 15, with more details revealed today than before. Here’s everything to know about this cool feature in iOS 15…
The countries with the most avid listeners to Spatial Audio are Japan, the U.S. and the U.K.
Spatial Audio has been taking off and in the latest data, Spatial Audio streams have been growing 20 times faster than non-Spatial streams on Apple Music in August.
Apple has been keen to stress how it’s innovating in terms of the sound quality of its music streaming service, with Dolby Atmos part of the equation.
Some have compared it to the difference between watching HD after seeing TV in standard definition: it’s hard to go back.
Now, with the release of iOS 15, Apple has introduced a new feature to Spatial Audio in Apple Music with the addition of Dynamic Head Tracking. This is something that was only available for people listening to compatible soundtracks on the iPad, for instance.
Adding it to Apple Music is designed to create a more immersive experience, so that instead of listening to a stereo mix of left and right, it gives the impression that the music is coming from all around you. Especially with Dolby Atmos which allows for more audio channels and positioning audio objects in space. Dynamic Head Tracking means that the sound stage is locked instead of moving with casual head movements.
Unlike with watching video on the iPad, however, where the sound source is locked so that it appears to come from the tablet, there’s no fixed reference point if you’re out walking, for instance. In this case as your head moves the sound re-orients around you. It can even do this to stereo tracks by up-mixing them to spatialize and head-track the audio to give the impression of proper Spatial Audio.
For supported headphones, such as AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, this will be the default stereo treatment in iOS 15. Apple is proud that it’s the first streaming service to have this feature. Users can choose whether to have the full head tracking experience as they listen. The Control Center confirms whether you’re listening to Spatial Audio, Dolby Atmos, or whatever.
With Spatial Audio set to off and Dolby Atmos set to on, then Apple Music plays binaural Dolby Atmos with no head tracking. You can even have Dolby Atmos off but Spatial Audio on, in which case the label that shows what’s playing is marked as Spatialized Stereo, which is an upmixed stereo with head tracking. Well, it’s nothing if not versatile. Available now if your iPhone has been updated to iOS 15.