Apple Releases iOS 11.4 With Messages in iCloud and AirPlay 2

30 May, 2018, 18:23 | Author: Larry Hoffman
  • HomePod speaker and iPhone X displaying Control Center

Apple has rolled out iOS 11.4, which finally includes the AirPlay 2 technology first announced nearly a year ago. It, of course, has only ever demoed the Apple Music service.

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HomePod gets stereo-pairingWith the release of software version 11.4, HomePod gains stereo-parring. Tap there, and the iOS 11.4 update should be waiting for you to download just by following the onscreen prompts. So for example if you have two HomePod and one Airplay 2-enabled soundbar, you can beam your TV audio to all three in flawless synchronization. You can also get a pair of Sonos One speakers at a discount on Amazon and save even more money. The iOS 11.4 update is around 330 MB is size. This means you can play the same song everywhere or move music from one room to another using an iOS device, HomePod, Apple TV, or simply by asking Siri. Messages in iCloud stores all iMessages in Apple's cloud storage rather than on each individual device.

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Beyond support for stereo pairing, Apple is mum on other new features in iOS 11.4, and it points users to the "Tips" app in the system to learn more. 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.

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AirPlay is Apple's proprietary standard for streaming audio, video and other content from one device to another - say streaming that video your iPhone is playing to an Apple TV connected to your television set. Apple released the update only a week before its WWDC annual event. Apple's own HomePods will be automatically supported so there will be no need to manually group speakers. However, older Sonos players - like Play:3 and Play:1 - won't support it. Sonos has also yet to detail how its AirPlay 2 integration will work, but either way, expect to see compatible Sonos products appear in Apple Home as well as in AirPlay menus as available speakers. Here's the full list of brands offering early support: Sonos, Denon and Marantz, Bose, Bang and Olufsen, Beats, Naim, Devialet, Dynaudio, Polk, McIntosh, Bowers & Wilkins, Libratone, Definitive Technology, and Bluesound.

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