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Apr 12, 2001
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The upcoming iOS 18 update for the iPhone includes two new Background Sounds: Night and Fire.

iOS-18-Control-Center-Background-Sounds.jpg

Introduced on iOS 15, the Background Sounds feature allows you to play ambient background sounds on your iPhone to help you focus or rest. Other available sounds include Balanced Noise, Bright Noise, Dark Noise, Ocean, Rain, and Stream.

Background Sounds is a free feature built into the iPhone that offers similar functionality as apps such as Dark Noise. We have a step-by-step guide that outlines how to turn on the feature in the Settings app or in Control Center.

iOS 18 is currently in beta for developers, and a public beta will be available soon. The update should be widely released in September.

The new Backgrounds Sounds are also included in the iPadOS 18 and macOS Sequoia betas.

Article Link: iOS 18 Includes Two New Background Sounds to Help You Focus or Rest
 

turbineseaplane

macrumors P6
Mar 19, 2008
15,869
35,048
Is this meant for going to sleep?

If it's for while you're using your iPhone, a far more restful choice would be "put your phone down"

Apple is like a drug dealer here and they don't really want you to "not use your phone", so we get weird things like "here's some calming music" to maybe make it better to keep using your phone!!!
 

nfl46

macrumors G3
Oct 5, 2008
8,491
9,304
Haha. That’s wild. This is the first time I’ve heard of this.
 

kc9hzn

macrumors 68000
Jun 18, 2020
1,812
2,174
First time hearing about it as well. Kind of odd that a background noise app is buried in accessibility.
I guess it’s intended for people with sensory processing issues of some sort (maybe autism?). I could see making it more visible for, say, sleep, but it being buried in accessibility settings explains why I had no idea it was an existing feature.
 

spazzcat

macrumors 68040
Jun 29, 2007
3,868
5,392
Is this meant for going to sleep?

If it's for while you're using your iPhone, a far more restful choice would be "put your phone down"

Apple is like a drug dealer here and they don't really want you to "not use your phone", so we get weird things like "here's some calming music" to maybe make it better to keep using your phone!!!
You have no idea what you are talking about, these are for things like background sound when you are working or mediation.

Edit: I should add also useful when sleeping.
 
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kc9hzn

macrumors 68000
Jun 18, 2020
1,812
2,174
Apple needs to focus on fixing bugs and getting the basics right before adding questionable new features like this. I doubt I’ll ever use it.
Looks like Apple considers it an accessibility feature. To most people, Apple’s accessibility features are “questionable”, but they’re game changing for the impacted users. I’ve seen blind people who can navigate both the physical and online world with ease thanks to Apple’s accessibility features and accessibility oriented apps, which gives them a degree of independence they wouldn’t be able to have any other way.
 

Populus

macrumors 603
Aug 24, 2012
5,193
7,543
Spain, Europe
Great! I use them a lot to improve my focus, and I hoped that on iOS 18 they would “renovate” or re-master the sounds. Having one or two more sounds is always great.
 

ItsGavinC

macrumors 6502
Jun 29, 2007
452
271
Apple needs to focus on fixing bugs and getting the basics right before adding questionable new features like this. I doubt I’ll ever use it.
This isn't a questionable new feature. It's been there for years.

I love it, I use it every time I fly to block out noise and sleep (while use noise cancellation on AirPods Pro)
 

Diopter

macrumors member
Sep 18, 2023
50
82
Are they finally going to fix the issue that makes background noises cut out randomly sometimes? It's been broken for a long time now.
Agreed! This feature has been utterly broken for me in every version of iOS 17 so far. It used to work flawlessly in iOS 16.*

Now it’ll randomly stop after just a minute or two. Sometimes just going back to the Home Screen or changing apps or tapping on something will cause it to stop.

So the new sounds would be great but there’s no point unless they’ve fixed that bug. It’s like they don’t even use the feature. Heaps of posts on Reddit and other sites about this…
 

Lounge vibes 05

macrumors 68040
May 30, 2016
3,685
10,674
Is this meant for going to sleep?

If it's for while you're using your iPhone, a far more restful choice would be "put your phone down"

Apple is like a drug dealer here and they don't really want you to "not use your phone", so we get weird things like "here's some calming music" to maybe make it better to keep using your phone!!!
No.
It’s literally one of my favorite features, especially when in noise cancellation mode on my AirPods.
If there’s not any music playing even for a couple seconds, my ears instantly get that fully clogged feeling not being able to hear much around.
Having at least something playing at all times really helps with this.

Unfortunately, most of the actual selections are mediocre, but it’s the only way to have the sound playing even over top of media.
Which I guess technically is one way that iOS can play two audio streams at the same time… Interesting.
 
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