iOS 11.4 is now available to download on iPhone and iPad, and it includes three long awaited features.
Multi-room audio and stereo pairing
When HomePod, Apple’s smart speaker launched back in February, it came with the caveat that two key features would be missing, becoming available later as a software update.
These two new features are made possible by AirPlay 2, the biggest update to the proprietary wireless audio streaming protocol since it launched in 2010. Its newest feature allows you to stream the same music to multiple rooms/AirPlay devices, or different music in different rooms. Previously, you could only stream music to one AirPlay compatible speaker.
HomePod stereo-pairing is now also available – which allows you to connect two HomePod speakers together in the same room to create a stereo sound. But, that will set you back another £319 for an additional speaker (at the time of writing).
Messages in iCloud
iOS 11.4 also includes Messages in iCloud. This feature (opt-in only for now) allows you to store your SMS messages in iCloud, for easy sync across all your Apple devices.
Messages in iCloud has been in the works for quite some time. It’s surfaced in several developer BETAs of iOS in the last few months, but was removed before each update was released to the public.
To enable Messages in iCloud on your iOS device, open up Settings, tap on your name at the top, and then tap iCloud. Scroll down and you’ll find ‘Messages’ in the list which you can enable.
Today’s update will be welcomed by HomePod owners, who can now unlock all the features of their device.
HomePod is already available in the US, UK and Australia, and launches in Canada, France and Germany starting June 18th.