Apple Improves Audio Messages Quality in iOS 12.2

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

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.

Top Rated Comments

jsmith189 Avatar
23 months ago
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?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
now i see it Avatar
23 months ago
Over 20 years of experience fiddling around with audio codecs and someone approved a 8000 Hz codec. Now that's a head scratcher.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mjbadagliacco Avatar
23 months ago
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?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
greenorblue Avatar
23 months ago
WOW. I have been yelling and emailing Apple about this for ****ing years. Thank god.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
The Barron Avatar
23 months ago
YES!

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.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
konqerror Avatar
23 months ago

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...
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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