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Apple FaceTime getting spatial audio for 'more natural' calls

Apple says that as part of the iOS 15 update, FaceTime users' voices will appear to come out of the screen on supported Apple devices.

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Apple
This story is part of WWDC 2021. All the latest coverage from Apple's annual developers conference.

Apple has announced that as part of the update to iOS 15, FaceTime will offer spatial audio to make people's voices appear to come from their position on screen, during its annual WWDC keynote.

The feature is designed to make FaceTime "more natural, comfortable and lifelike," Apple's Craig Federighi said.

Spatial audio is a collection of 3D surround formats, including Dolby Atmos, designed to bring height and rear effects to video calls, movies and music. Apple introduced spatial audio on its AirPods Pro last year and it uses the headphones' accelerometer for head tracking. 

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It's also supported by AirPods and Beats headphones with an H1 or W1 chip, or the built-in speakers in the latest versions of the iPhone, iPad and Mac.

In iOS 15, Apple also upgraded FaceTime to allow Android users to join FaceTime calls (here's how)

Apple's virtual WWDC 2021 conference runs from today through Friday and includes announcements about the newest version of iOS, Apple Maps and more.