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iOS 11.4 came out today, just less than a week before iOS 12 is expected to be released at WWDC, which runs from June 4 to June 8.

The new update will be available today for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch models that can run iOS 11. It will include numerous upgrades including AirPlay 2, iCloud messages, HomePod stereo pairing, and more.

The biggest feature of the update is the introduction of AirPlay 2. The next iteration of Apple’s media streaming technology brings improved connection speeds and allows users to play media in multiple rooms at the same time.

This free software update introduces the most advanced, easy to use, wireless multi-room audio system using AirPlay 2 to play music in any room from any room, move music from one room to another or play the same song everywhere using an iOS device, HomePod, Apple TV or by asking Siri.


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iOS 11.4 brings AirPlay 2, HomePod stereo pairing

Another huge feature that comes with iOS 11.4 is iCloud messages. This will allow users to sync messages across their devices, just like an email account. Thus, if a message is deleted on one device, it will be deleted across all devices. This excludes Apple Watch oddly enough, so messages may not be removed on there. If you have to do a full restore on your iDevice, just sign into your iCloud account and all messages will sync back to your device.

One more feature that Apple is pushing (rather vigorously) in iOS 11.4 is HomePod stereo pairing. With this feature, the HomePod can be paired to another HomePod to provide stereo audio due to smarter beam-forming to determine where each speaker is in the room.

There’s also many other smaller bug fixes and improvements in iOS 11.4. View the full release notes here:

iOS 11.4

iOS 11.4 includes AirPlay 2 multi-room audio, support for HomePod stereo pairs, and Messages in iCloud. This update also includes bug fixes and improvements.

AirPlay 2

  • Control your home audio system and AirPlay 2-enabled speakers throughout your house
  • Play music at the same time on multiple AirPlay 2-enabled speakers in your house, all in sync
  • Control AirPlay 2-enabled speakers from Control Center, the Lock screen, or AirPlay controls within apps on your iPhone or iPad
  • Use your voice to control AirPlay 2-enabled speakers with Siri from your iPhone or iPad, HomePod, or Apple TV
  • Take a call or play a game on your iPhone or iPad without interrupting playback on your AirPlay 2-enabled speakers

HomePod stereo pair

  • This update supports setting up your HomePod stereo pair using your iPhone or iPad
  • HomePod pair automatically senses its location in the room and balances the sound based on the speakers’ locations
  • Advanced beamforming provides wider soundstage than traditional stereo pair
  • HomePod will automatically update to support stereo pairs, unless auto updates are disabled in the Home app



Messages in iCloud

  • Store your messages, photos, and other attachments in iCloud and free up space on your devices
  • All your messages appear when you sign into a new device with the same iMessage account
  • When you delete messages and conversations they are instantly removed from all your devices
  • To turn on Messages in iCloud, enable Messages in iCloud settings (Settings > [your name] > iCloud)
  • Your conversations continue to be end-to-end encrypted

Other improvements and fixes

  • Enables teachers to assign their students reading activities in iBooks using the Schoolwork app
  • Fixes an issue where certain character sequences could cause Messages to crash
  • Addresses a Messages issue that could cause some messages to appear out of order
  • Addresses an issue that could prevent logging in or accessing files on Google Drive, Google Docs and Gmail in Safari
  • Fixes an issue that could prevent data syncing in Health
  • Fixes an issue that could prevent users from changing what apps can access Health data
  • Resolves an issue that could cause an app to appear in an incorrect location on the Home screen
  • Fixes an issue where CarPlay audio could become distorted
  • Fixes an issue where selecting music from your iPhone could fail when playing music over Bluetooth or when connected to USB on some vehicles

For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website:

https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222

HomePod 11.4

iOS 11.4 includes AirPlay 2 multi-room audio and support for stereo pairs.

  • Place two HomePod in the same room and create a stereo pair
  • Each HomePod in a pair automatically senses its location in the room
  • Advanced beamforming provides wider soundstage than traditional stereo pair
  • Use AirPlay 2 to play the same song everywhere or different songs in different rooms to multiple HomePod and other AirPlay 2-enabled speakers
  • Schedule, cancel, and stay up to date with your Calendar appointments (available in US, UK, Australia)

 

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