Apple Improves Audio Messages Quality in iOS 12.2

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.

    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
  2. jsmith189 macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2014
    FINALLY. I use this a lot, and have just taken to using the Voice Notes app and sending them that way. This is a much welcomed improvement.

    Now can we just get a swipe and lock for longer audio messages?
  3. javco macrumors member

    May 10, 2011
    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.
  4. now i see it macrumors 68040

    Jan 2, 2002
    Over 20 years of experience fiddling around with audio codecs and someone approved a 8000 Hz codec. Now that's a head scratcher.
  5. fonzy91 macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2007
    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.
  6. mdriftmeyer macrumors 68030


    Feb 2, 2004
    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.
  7. calzon65 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2008
    OK, I will give some props to Apple for this.
  8. Osxguy macrumors member


    Jun 23, 2010
    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..
  9. The Barron macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2009

    It's about time we get up-to-date audio messaging where it no longer takes a few tries to figure what the person is saying.
  10. Berserker-UK macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2012
    Berkshire, UK
    Then again, AMR is optimized for voice and was adopted as the standard for 3G cell audio, so there was some logic to that choice.
  11. jwolf6589 macrumors 68000


    Dec 15, 2010
    What about Apple Watch users? I send audio messages mostly on my Watch.
  12. ignatius345 macrumors 68020

    Aug 20, 2015
    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!
  13. jwolf6589 macrumors 68000


    Dec 15, 2010
    Voicemails can be kept for an unlimited time (until you reset your phone). They can also be emailed, and saved to your iCloud drive.
  14. alexandr macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2005
  15. ignatius345 macrumors 68020

    Aug 20, 2015
    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.
  16. konqerror macrumors 6502a

    Dec 31, 2013
    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...
  17. nvmls macrumors 6502a


    Mar 31, 2011
    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.
  18. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    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.
  19. olduser007, Mar 13, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019

    olduser007 macrumors newbie

    Jun 3, 2017
    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.
  20. BeefCake 15 macrumors 65816

    BeefCake 15

    May 15, 2015
    near Boston, MA
    Now we can blame them for finishing our data plans because voice messages are too large :)
  21. mjbadagliacco macrumors newbie


    Aug 4, 2015
    I just want to be able to leave a voice message when someone does not answer a FaceTime or FaceTime Audio call... Come on Apple, what is holding this up?
  22. jwolf6589 macrumors 68000


    Dec 15, 2010
    WhatsApp is a problem because it requires me to install it and the other user to use it and its why I avoid it.
  23. Ohples macrumors newbie


    Aug 13, 2016
    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.
  24. maxfromdenmark macrumors regular


    May 8, 2011
    nice, thank you Apple. My next question is: when iPhone will begin to serve Hi-Res Audio standard?

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