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The iPhone 11 could play music on two pairs of AirPods at once

Apple Airpods
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The days of sharing AirPods buds between you and a friend could be coming to an end: a new rumor suggests the iPhone 11 will have the ability to beam audio to two Bluetooth devices at the same time.

Respected Apple blog Macotakara (opens in new tab) has the story, via sources in the Asian supply chain, suggesting that dual Bluetooth audio is coming to the next batch of flagship iPhones.

Recent iPhone models can already connect to two Bluetooth devices at once, but can only play audio through one of them at a time. This works separately to AirPlay, which is also able to handle multiple audio devices simultaneously.

The example that Macotakara gives is being able to hook up both a car stereo and headphones at the same time, while you're on the road – music and navigation instructions could be sent to different devices.

Bring your own AirPods

As useful as dual Bluetooth audio is, it can be difficult to get right from a technical perspective – as we've seen from the small number of Android phones on the market that already offer it.

Assuming Apple can get it right, it would make sharing tunes with a friend on the bus much more straightforward, if you both had a pair of AirPods to hand.

Those little wireless earbuds may well be the focus of the new feature, if it arrives. The iPhone 11 is also rumored to be able to charge up a pair of AirPods, while we've seen regular reports that upgraded AirPods are also on the way.

We'll find out for sure when September rolls around and the new iPhone 11 models appear. Before then, WWDC 2019 should tell us more about iOS 13.

Via 9to5Mac (opens in new tab)

David Nield
David Nield

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.