MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
52,997
14,744



In the iOS 12.2 beta, Apple has improved the quality of the audio messages sent in the Messages app after switching to a new Opus codec at 24000 Hz, up from the previously used AMR codec at 8000 Hz.

Details on the improvement in audio quality were shared on Twitter this morning, and we confirmed the change on our own devices. Apple previously used the .AMR file format for its audio messages, but in the beta, has swapped over to .CAF.

audiomessagechanges.jpg
New audio file in iOS 12.2, old audio file in iOS 12.1.4​

On iOS devices running iOS 12.2 or macOS 10.14.4, .CAF files sound much crisper, clearer, and louder, marking a significant improvement over the previous audio quality.

Right now, to hear the improved audio quality, audio messages need to be sent from a device running iOS 12.2 to a device running iOS 12.2 (or a Mac running macOS Mojave 10.14.4). An audio message sent to a device running iOS 12.1.4 uses the original .AMR file format and not the improved .CAF file format. The Twitter user who first shared the news has a comparison on Twitter:

Here's the direct comparison: what a difference! pic.twitter.com/8n2wQGZTJl - frederik riedel 🧗🏼‍♂️🇪🇺 (@frederikRiedel) March 13, 2019

The new 24000 Hz Opus codec appears to result in larger file sizes, but that shouldn't be much of an issue as Messages defaults to deleting audio content after just a few minutes.

All iOS users can expect to see significant improvements in audio message quality in the Messages app upon updating to iOS 12.2. We're expecting to see iOS 12.2 released shortly after Apple's March 25 event, as it will also allow Apple to enable the new Apple News subscription service that's set to be introduced.

Article Link: Apple Improves Audio Messages Quality in iOS 12.2
 

javco

macrumors member
May 10, 2011
68
147
Mexico
They have to improve how the UI for voice messages works, it is a pain. I prefer how whatsapp handle voice messages and all multimedia in messages.
 
Comment

fonzy91

macrumors member
Jul 4, 2007
75
91
FINALLY!! With other platforms like Whatsapp and WeChat having offered this for forever and people in most of Asia and Europe using audio messages A LOT, I'm really surprised Apple waited this long to improve the quality. I hope they advertise it, cause it's a big improvement that affects the way we communicate.
 
Comment

mdriftmeyer

macrumors 68040
Feb 2, 2004
3,350
1,062
Pacific Northwest
Core Audio Format files have nothing to do with Opus. You may have .CAF associated with Opus codec but that won't the reality moving foward. Apple will associate it with ALAC or AAC. It sure won't default to Opus.
 
Comment

Osxguy

macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2010
100
123
San Jose
I have to admit I’ve never used this.. this is like answering a phone call for me.. why not voice to text.. that’s just me.. it’s a nice service for those that may need to use them..
 
  • Like
Reactions: BigMcGuire
Comment

jwolf6589

macrumors 68020
Dec 15, 2010
2,472
480
Colorado



In the iOS 12.2 beta, Apple has improved the quality of the audio messages sent in the Messages app after switching to a new Opus codec at 24000 Hz, up from the previously used AMR codec at 8000 Hz.

Details on the improvement in audio quality were shared on Twitter this morning, and we confirmed the change on our own devices. Apple previously used the .AMR file format for its audio messages, but in the beta, has swapped over to .CAF.

audiomessagechanges.jpg

New audio file in iOS 12.2, old audio file in iOS 12.1.4
On iOS devices running iOS 12.2 or macOS 10.14.4, .CAF files sound much crisper, clearer, and louder, marking a significant improvement over the previous audio quality.

Right now, to hear the improved audio quality, audio messages need to be sent from a device running iOS 12.2 to a device running iOS 12.2 (or a Mac running macOS Mojave 10.14.4). An audio message sent to a device running iOS 12.1.4 uses the original .AMR file format and not the improved .CAF file format. The Twitter user who first shared the news has a comparison on Twitter:


The new 24000 Hz Opus codec appears to result in larger file sizes, but that shouldn't be much of an issue as Messages defaults to deleting audio content after just a few minutes.

All iOS users can expect to see significant improvements in audio message quality in the Messages app upon updating to iOS 12.2. We're expecting to see iOS 12.2 released shortly after Apple's March 25 event, as it will also allow Apple to enable the new Apple News subscription service that's set to be introduced.

Article Link: Apple Improves Audio Messages Quality in iOS 12.2

What about Apple Watch users? I send audio messages mostly on my Watch.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lazy
Comment

ignatius345

macrumors 68040
Aug 20, 2015
3,619
4,962
This is great, but it's very irritating that I can only keep a fairly small number of voicemails because they count against some insane quota that Verizon is in charge of. I've got a phone with 256GB of storage, you'd think I wouldn't have to worry about this. Anybody aware of any workarounds?

EDIT: never mind, I'm an idiot and didn't read this closely -- realize now this is about the iMessage voice things, which have been absurdly low-quality until now. Great change!
 
Comment

jwolf6589

macrumors 68020
Dec 15, 2010
2,472
480
Colorado
This is great, but it's very irritating that I can only keep a fairly small number of voicemails because they count against some insane quota that Verizon is in charge of. I've got a phone with 256GB of storage, you'd think I wouldn't have to worry about this. Anybody aware of any workarounds?

Voicemails can be kept for an unlimited time (until you reset your phone). They can also be emailed, and saved to your iCloud drive.
 
Comment

ignatius345

macrumors 68040
Aug 20, 2015
3,619
4,962
Voicemails can be kept for an unlimited time (until you reset your phone). They can also be emailed, and saved to your iCloud drive.

Oh, I know they can, but if I accumulate too many in the Phone app without offloading them to somewhere else, people start telling me they're getting a "mailbox is full" from Verizon when trying to leave me a voicemail.

To add to your list above, they can also be shared to Notes, which is also a handy place to paste in the transcription if you're really archiving something.
 
Comment

konqerror

macrumors 68020
Dec 31, 2013
2,298
3,694
Over 20 years of experience fiddling around with audio codecs and someone approved a 8000 Hz codec. Now that's a head scratcher.

Not a head scratcher at all. It's for compatibility with MMS in mixed messaging scenarios. AMR-NB is the standard codec defined there due to its use in GSM.

Follow the standard, people complain. Come up with your own standard, people complain...
 
Comment

nvmls

macrumors 65816
Mar 31, 2011
1,095
2,724
Messages is so far behind on basic stuff, this is very welcome but please for the love of god also add:

-Individual message replies
-Improve UX to send multiple images inside messages, if you tap on "all photos" you can't even select multiple at once from there.
 
Comment

Krevnik

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2003
3,794
1,005
Core Audio Format files have nothing to do with Opus. You may have .CAF associated with Opus codec but that won't the reality moving foward. Apple will associate it with ALAC or AAC. It sure won't default to Opus.

The files in question were pulled from an iOS device, and so the codec used for these files was what iOS was using to store the content in the CAF container. I think it's pretty clear that right now, in the beta, Apple is using the Opus codec.
 
Comment

olduser007

macrumors member
Jun 3, 2017
46
48
While better than before, it's still lacks in quality in comparison to Whatsapp and other apps.

Thankfully I don't live in the States where everyone keeps using iMessage over better apps.
 
Last edited:
Comment

jwolf6589

macrumors 68020
Dec 15, 2010
2,472
480
Colorado
While better than before, it's still lacks in quality in comparison to Whatsapp and other apps.

Thankfully I don't live in the States where everyone keeps using iMessage over better apps.

WhatsApp is a problem because it requires me to install it and the other user to use it and its why I avoid it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ignatius345
Comment

Ohples

macrumors member
Aug 13, 2016
37
33
Raleigh, NC
Opus eh, does this mean we are going to get OGG/Opus support in iOS now? Listening to audio in wikipedia articles would be so much nicer. They started moving some of them to MP3, but there not all there yet.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.