iOS 11.4: Apple rolls out AirPlay 2, HomePod pairing, and Messages in iCloud
Apple rolls out iOS 11.4 just a week ahead of the company’s WWDC 2018 developer conference where it will announce iOS 12.Updated: May 30, 2018 11:40 IST
Apple on Tuesday rolled out the iOS 11.4 software update for iPhones and iPads. The update brings features promised by Apple during the first announcement of iOS 11 at WWDC 2017. With iOS 11.4, Apple has finally released AirPlay 2, and pairing support for HomePod speakers.
Apple iOS 11 also brings support for storing messages on iCloud along with bug fixes and improvements. By now the software update must have arrived on every compatible device. If you haven’t received a notification for the update you can manually check it by going to Settings > General > Software Update. Here’s a detailed look at the new features on iOS 11.4.
Apple introduced AirPlay in 2011 which was first known as AirTunes. AirPlay lets users stream audio or video from an Apple device to another through Wi-Fi connectivity, and also mirror what’s on their device.
AirPlay 2 lets users control their home audio system and AirPlay 2 compatible speakers by syncing them and playing music at the same time. You can also control the synced speaker directly from the lock screen of iPhones and iPads and also through Siri. AirPlay 2 also lets users answer calls without stopping music playback on the connected speakers.
Messages in iCloud
iCloud support for ‘Messages’ was one of the most talked about features during the announcement of iOS 11. The feature, however, never arrived with most people having forgotten about it. Well, iOS 11.4 lets users store Messages on iCloud including photos and other attachments.
With iCloud support users will have more control over Messages on different devices. You can see all your Messages on different devices logged in with the same Apple ID. Also if you delete a Message on any device it will be removed from other synced devices as well. This will also help users free up space on their iPhones.
You can enable this feature by going to Settings > Apple ID > iCloud. Scroll down to the list of apps with iCloud support and toggle on Messages.
Apple’s smart speaker HomePod gets a new feature with iOS 11.4. Users who own HomePod speakers can pair two of them together with their iPhone or iPad. With this update, HomePod speakers which are paired will adjust the sound based on the location of each speaker. Once your devices are updated to iOS 11.4, HomePod will automatically update for the pairing support.
Bug fixes and improvements
There are quite a few issues Apple has fixed with iOS 11.4 like character sequences which crashed the Messages app, and also causing some messages appear disordered. Uses who couldn’t login or access files on Google Drive, Docs and Gmail in Safari should be able to with iOS 11.4. Problems in the Health app like syncing and controlling data on different apps have been fixed. More issues like CarPlay audio sounding distorted and selecting music on iPhone over Bluetooth devices have been fixed.