IOS 11.4 arrives with AirPlay 2, Messages in iCloud

IOS 11.4 arrives with AirPlay 2, Messages in iCloud

IOS 11.4 arrives with AirPlay 2, Messages in iCloud

Airplay 2 is the successor to the original Airplay protocol and one of the biggest changes is support for wireless multi-room audio, meaning that you can play the same music throughout the home on all your Airplay 2 capable speakers – or different tunes in each room. The feature lets you stream lag-free music to AirPlay 2-compatible speakers and create multi-room speaker setups.

Apple has released iOS 11.4 for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, adding the long-awaited support for Messages in iCloud and AirPlay 2. Like AirPlay 2, this feature has bounced in and out of iOS betas, having originally been announced at WWDC a year ago.

Apple today announced the release of iOS 11.4. As with any iOS update, we recommend backing up your iPhone first. To enable the feature on your iPhone, go to Settings, tap your name at the top of the Settings screen and select iCloud; from there, scroll down to the list of Apps Using iCloud and make sure Messages is toggled on. Users can download iOS 11.4 by going into the Settings app and navigating to Software update under the General tab. It also supports Messages in iCloud.

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.

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

The new iOS 11.4 update will allow Apple users to use two HomePods together with this feature.

As usual, iOS 11.4 also introduces some important security patches, bug fixes, and under-the-hood improvements.

Here's what you need to know about Messages in iCloud and how to switch on the new feature.

The update will also make Siri smarter, as the voice assistant will finally be able to add and check calendar appointments, like rival smart speakers from Amazon and Google. Apple TV acts as both a receiver and transmitter for Airplay 2, which means that it can also be targeted as an Airplay 2 playback device from an iPhone, iPad or Mac.

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

I have had two HomePods in my house for a while now, one of them ready to be deployed the moment that Apple launched support for stereo pairs, which it did this morning.

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