Apple releases iOS 11.4 with AirPlay 2

AirPlay 2 and Home Pod stereo pairing arrive with iOS 11.4		
		
	Brian Heater

       @	   
   	7 hours

IOS 11.4 also brings Messages in iCloud to the operating system, a feature that's been in the works since iOS 11 was first introduced previous year.

Most notable in the new iOS release is long-awaited support for AirPlay 2, Apple's proprietary streaming protocol, which is expected to enable synchronized audio playback through multiple HomePod speakers. With AirPlay 2, they should be able to add other brand speakers to their existing Sonos devices.

Today Apple is releasing iOS 11.4 and finally bringing AirPlay 2 out of beta. You can also control the synced speaker directly from the lock screen of iPhones and iPads and also through Siri.

Coming to the iOS 11.4 update, iPhone and iPad users can go to Settings General Software Update and check for new version. This will also free up storage space on a compatible Apple device; messages that users want to keep will no longer need to be stored internally on it.

There are still some issues, though: yes, HomePod now supports Apple's calendar app, but still cannot distinguish between voices, so anyone within speaking range of one of your HomePods can access your calendar data (you can turn off calendar support in settings, of course).

Note: Make sure you're running iOS 11.4. Any messages you sent or received on your iPhone would be nearly instantly synced to your Mac and iPad.

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Multi-room support means you can play the same music on multiple HomePods or Apple TVs in different rooms, simultaneously. When a second HomePod is set up in the same room, the user will be asked if they would like to form a stereo pair automatically.

The iOS 11.4 update also comes with the option for stereo pairs via two HomePod devices to create a wider soundstage effect.

The new iOS 11.4 update will allow Apple users to use two HomePods together with this feature. Further, all your messages will appear on your new device when you sign in using the same iMessage account.

Apple's HomePod is now the most expensive smart speaker on the market, with a price tag of $499, though a new model is expected to come at a lower cost.

This isn't a huge update in itself, but the inclusion of Messages on iCloud makes it a noteworthy update.

Conversations are still end-to-end encrypted, Apple points out, and Messages in iCloud isn't enabled by default.

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