In the most recent edition of Bloomberg’s Power On newsletter, Mark Gurman reveals that Apple is actively developing fresh health functionalities for its range of audio products.
One of these forthcoming features would enable AirPods users to undergo a hearing examination.
The Verge points out that AirPods already possess support for audiogram profiles, which iOS utilizes to fine-tune the output of the earbuds and compensate for any hearing impairment.
Presently, third-party applications such as Mimi allow users to generate these profiles. Therefore, if Apple were to proceed with creating its own test, it would essentially be another instance of the company “Sherlocking” a feature pioneered by an external developer.
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In addition, Gurman discloses that Apple is currently exploring ways to position and market the AirPods Pro as a hearing aid, taking advantage of the FDA’s decision to facilitate the purchase of over-the-counter hearing aids for Americans.
As part of this initiative, Apple has recently recruited engineers with prior experience in developing traditional hearing aids.
The other innovative feature that Apple is diligently working on for AirPods involves the ability to measure body temperature.
This advancement follows the incorporation of a built-in temperature sensor in the Watch Series 8 and Watch Ultra.
While some may question the need for Apple to replicate a feature already present in one of its existing products, the advantage lies in the ear canal’s capacity to provide a more precise temperature reading compared to the wrist.
Gurman cautions that the implementation of both these features may take “several months or even years.”
However, in the nearer future, Apple intends to enhance the AirPods Pro by equipping them with a USB-C charging case. Furthermore, Gurman predicts that all of Apple’s audio products will ultimately transition away from the Lighting connector, as part of the company’s compliance with the EU’s new common charging standard.
Nevertheless, Gurman points out that the launch of completely new AirPods Pro hardware should not be expected imminently, given that the earbuds were just refreshed last year.
Prior to these developments, AirPods users can anticipate the introduction of new software features promised by Apple alongside the release of iOS 17.
These additions encompass a new button function to mute oneself during calls, as well as enhancements to device switching.
Moreover, Gurman speculates that Apple might permanently reduce the price of its second-generation AirPods to $99, down from $129.
This strategic move aims to enhance competitiveness against affordably priced alternatives from industry rivals such as Samsung, Sony, and Amazon.
From a personal perspective, it is fascinating to witness Apple’s ongoing commitment to improving the health-related functionalities of its audio products.
By incorporating features like a hearing test and body temperature measurement, Apple has the potential to enhance the overall well-being and convenience of its customers.
The move to position AirPods Pro as a hearing aid option aligns with the increasing accessibility and consumer demand for such devices.
Furthermore, the adoption of the USB-C standard, in compliance with the EU regulations, showcases Apple’s adaptability and willingness to embrace industry-wide changes.
As an avid AirPods user, I eagerly await these upcoming advancements, as well as the exciting software updates that will undoubtedly enhance the overall user experience.
Additionally, the potential price reduction for the second-generation AirPods presents an appealing opportunity for prospective buyers to acquire Apple’s renowned audio technology at a more affordable price point.