iOS 12 connects AirPods to Apple's built-in hearing aid app

The app used to only work with hearing aids.

iOS 12 will apparently have a lot more more to offer other than what was announced on stage at Apple's annual developers conference. One of those unannounced features could be a game changer for those hard of hearing: Cupertino's upcoming mobile platform will make AirPods compatible with Apple's Live Listen assistive hearing app. TechCrunch first reported the feature, and an Apple spokesperson confirmed it to Engadget. At the moment, Live Listen is only compatible with third-party devices like hearing aids or implants, but iOS 12 will make it a lot more accessible. Even those who can hear enough and can't justify purchasing a hearing aid will be able to take advantage of what it can do.

Apple created Live Listen as part of its Made for iPhone hearing aid program, and users can switch it on in settings under Accessibility on their iPhone. They simply have to place that iPhone on a table, say during a lecture, or hand it to the person they're having a conversation with, especially if they're in a public place where there are lots of background noise. The feature will then pick up the audio, amplify sounds and beam them to the connected hearing aids or AirPods. Apple's wireless headsets are already popular as they are, but this could make them a more enticing purchase for the hearing-impaired.