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IOS 11.4 Update Brings Messages in iCloud & AirPlay 2 Support

30 May, 2018, 18:23 | Author: Janis Wilson
  • Tyler Lizenby  CNET

The wireless audio protocol supports multi-room and HomePod stereo-pairing. Any supported speakers that are connected to the Apple TV, be it a soundbar or speaker system, will become AirPlay 2 speakers.

And AirPlay 2 enables multi-room playback, letting you pump music and audio to speakers in various spots in your flat and have them be synced up.

AirPlay 2 was announced before the HomePod, but AirPlay 2 unlocks many features in the speaker, including multi-room and stereo pairing (the ability to use separate HomePods as left and right speakers). AirPlay 2 will also work on Apple TV, and can be controlled with iPhones and iPads. From the Control Center on your iOS device, you'll be able to see a full list of compatible speakers (including HomePod) and pick and choose which should be playing the tunes. Notably, your HomePod will automatically receive the update to support stereo pairs unless auto updates are disabled in the Home app on your iPhone or iPad. Apple has also rolled out watchOS 4.3.1 for all Apple Watch models. In addition, you can tell Siri to play music (from Apple Music) in any room by asking something like "Play Kaytranada in the living room and kitchen". You can stream music or audio from any service, including Apple Music, Spotify, TuneIn, and the podcast app. In short, thanks to this iOS update, those who shelled out for a HomePod when it first launched will finally get something approaching what they paid for.

Once the update had occurred, a new option to pair my speakers appeared in the HomePod settings.

What can you expect once you upgrade to iOS 11.4? Lastly, AirPlay 2 will also allow you to take a call on your iPhone, without interrupting the playback on the speakers.

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Like the original AirPlay format, AirPlay 2 will also be built into a range of third-party wireless speakers and amplifiers from the likes of Sonos, Bang & Olufsen, Bose, Pioneer, Denon and Marantz.

The announcement comes just ahead of Apple's developer conference, which starts Monday - the same conference in which Apple first announced the speaker a year ago. It has taken nearly a full year to make it available to consumers.

Apple's high-street- and gym-dominating Beats by Dre subsidiary has just unveiled a red-accented Decade Collection of its classic headphones that many attendees will no doubt be rocking at WWDC.

Apple has stated it will sell its HomePod smart speaker in Canada, France, and Germany from 18 June 2018.

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