IOS 11.4 Update Brings Messages in iCloud & AirPlay 2 Support

HomePod speakers in white and space gray

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.

Apple just released the iOS 11.4 update, which brings a slew of new features and improvements.

"The knock on HomePod is its $349 price is about 2-3x the price of a typical smart speaker", Munster writes.

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The iOS 11.4 update should be available for download on your iOS devices right now.

Apple has rolled out iOS 11.4, which finally includes the AirPlay 2 technology first announced nearly a year ago. Users can also now ask Siri to play music in any room or group of rooms using AirPlay 2, and music can be streamed throughout the house without any need to manually group speakers.

The following are set to benefit from Apple AirPlay 2.

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When it comes to the multi-room feature, speakers use spatial awareness to automatically deliver the best possible sound, and Apple's wireless peer-to-peer direct link ensures that music stays in sync. Nevertheless, the new change is likely to convince other multimedia device manufacturers to integrate the new protocol. Stereo pairing, combined with HomePod's spacial awareness feature, means that the devices can fill a room with sound that has more depth, balance, and power than before. This innovative stereo sound provides a wide, nearly three dimensional soundstage for an incredible listening experience anywhere in the room. With AirPlay 2, they should be able to add other brand speakers to their existing Sonos devices.

Apple's HomePod - the company's answer to Google Home and Amazon Echo - will finally be available for purchase by Canadian, French, and German consumers on June 18th. The feature, however, never arrived with most people having forgotten about it.

Extra iCloud storage space isn't all that expensive - plans start at $0.99 for 50 gigabytes - but if you don't want to have to start giving Apple more money on a regular basis, you should be mindful of the fact that Messages in iCloud could be what pushes your iCloud usage over the edge. Further, all your messages will appear on your new device when you sign in using the same iMessage account.

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