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). You're not restricted to using Siri with the HomePod either, as she plays with other third-party speakers.
Apple has rolled out iOS 11.4, which finally includes the AirPlay 2 technology first announced nearly a year ago.
Until now, Apple fans could only use the original AirPlay format to take advantage of multi-room audio when streaming from iTunes running on a PC or Mac, not from a mobile device. AirPlay 2 also lets users answer calls without stopping music playback on the connected speakers. While listening to music, all you need do is select or unselect where the music is playing, or you can ask Siri to play music in a room, a group of rooms, or everywhere in the home, much like Sonos's existing offering. Nevertheless, the new change is likely to convince other multimedia device manufacturers to integrate the new protocol.
Once updated, users will be able to wirelessly link two HomePod speakers to play a song in stereo, though they will also be able to play a song on HomePods in multiple rooms, or move song's playback from the kitchen to the bedroom, for example. There is also an advanced beamforming that is claimed to provide wider soundstage than a traditional stereo pair.
Apple's HomePod - the company's answer to Google Home and Amazon Echo - will finally be available for purchase by Canadian, French, and German consumers on June 18th. The feature, however, never arrived with most people having forgotten about it.
IOS 11.4 is out, and it brings with it a feature that was first promised to us in iOS 11.3 created to help streamline messaging between devices.
But wait, there's more - you end up saving space on your device as well as your messages are offloaded to Apple's iCloud servers. What this means is that you can delete one conversation on a device and it will be gone from another, making the process of managing your conversations far more epic than before.
This isn't a huge update in itself, but the inclusion of Messages on iCloud makes it a noteworthy update. Do note that to start syncing your messages to iCloud, you'll have to enable it manually in the settings.