Apple releases iOS 11.4 with Messages in iCloud and AirPlay 2 support

30 May, 2018, 18:24 | Author: Elena Summers
  • AirPlay 2 and Home Pod stereo pairing arrive with iOS 11.4		
		
	Brian Heater

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Apple's HomePod hasn't been a huge sales hit for the company, which launched two years after initial products from Amazon.com and Google began dominating the smart-speaker market.

The good news continues as the list of brands already signed up to support AirPlay 2 is impressive: Bang & Olufsen; Bluesound; Bose; Bowers & Wilkins; Definitive Technologies; Denon; Devialet; Dynaudio; Libratone; Marantz; McIntosh; Marshall; Naim; Pioneer; Polk; and Sonos. Rather than just asking Siri to play music on single HomePod in one room, they can also ask her to play the music to a collection of speakers such as "upstairs" or "everywhere".

But another key feature in iOS is the long-expected addition of Messages in iCloud, which syncs across all devices and deletes iMessages across everything, so you won't get quite as spammed.

Apple officially released the next version of iOS 11.4 to users today bef0re its Apple WWDC event.

The iOS 11.4 update should be available for download on your iOS devices right now. This means you can play music at the same time on multiple speakers that are compatible with AirPlay 2.

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On top of this, he says that Apple promises to ramp up its privacy focus with new features that notify users when their data is being shared with developers. For those with multiple HomePods across their home, they will now be able to fill their entire home with in-sync audio through multiple speakers or only in select areas like a bedroom, office, or patio.

But when we reviewed the £319 HomePod, we stated that most of its teething problems could be fixed, in particular the lack of stereo pairing and potential benefits of AirPlay 2. Once you've done this, the iPhone's Home app will ask you if you want to "create stereo pair" when two HomePods are plugged in and activated in the same room. If you were to delete certain messages on your iPhone, it will be reflected on other synced devices too. Basically, with iOS 11.4, messages - either iMessage or SMS - can now be stored to iCloud.

The lack of stereo pairing and multi-room audio was seen by many as a failing of HomePod, but Apple has now addressed this.

The new update also adds support for Apple's new ClassKit framework.

Music and video playback can now also be controlled throughout the home from the updated control center on iPhone/iPad or Apple TV.

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