Apple releases iOS 11.4 with updates for AirPlay 2 and Messages in iCloud
This very well could be the last update for iOS 11.
The latest software update for iOS devices includes features first announced last June at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), and include updates to AirPlay 2 and Messages in iCloud.
AirPlay 2 had already made appearances in beta versions of iOS 11.3 but didn’t make the cut until today.
With AirPlay 2, you can use “multi-room audio” from iOS devices, making it easier to control speakers using Control Center, the Home app, or with Siri. Previously, this was only available through iTunes on Mac and Windows.
Meanwhile, with Message in iCloud, conversations are now synced across all Apple devices, including, iOS, macOS, and watchOS. Therefore, when you delete a message on one device, it’s also deleted on others.
Here are the iOS 11.4 release notes:
iOS 11.4 includes AirPlay 2 multi-room audio, support for HomePod stereo pairs, and Messages in iCloud. This update also includes bug fixes and improvements.
- Control your home audio system and AirPlay 2-enabled speakers throughout your house
- Play music at the same time on multiple AirPlay 2-enabled speakers in your house, all in sync
- Control AirPlay 2-enabled speakers from Control Center, the Lock screen, or AirPlay controls within apps on your iPhone or iPad
- Use your voice to control AirPlay 2-enabled speakers with Siri from your iPhone or iPad, HomePod, or Apple TV
- Take a call or play a game on your iPhone or iPad without interrupting playback on your AirPlay 2-enabled speakers
HomePod stereo pair
- This update supports setting up your HomePod stereo pair using your iPhone or iPad
- HomePod pair automatically senses its location in the room and balances the sound based on the speakers’ locations
- Advanced beamforming provides wider soundstage than traditional stereo pair
- HomePod will automatically update to support stereo pairs, unless auto updates are disabled in the Home app
Messages in iCloud
- Store your messages, photos, and other attachments in iCloud and free up space on your devices
- All your messages appear when you sign into a new device with the same iMessage account
- When you delete messages and conversations they are instantly removed from all your devices
- To turn on Messages in iCloud, enable Messages in iCloud settings (Settings > [your name] > iCloud)
- Your conversations continue to be end-to-end encrypted
Other improvements and fixes
- Enables teachers to assign their students reading activities in iBooks using the Schoolwork app
- Fixes an issue where certain character sequences could cause Messages to crash
- Addresses a Messages issue that could cause some messages to appear out of order
- Addresses an issue that could prevent logging in or accessing files on Google Drive, Google Docs and Gmail in Safari
- Fixes an issue that could prevent data syncing in Health
- Fixes an issue that could prevent users from changing what apps can access Health data
- Resolves an issue that could cause an app to appear in an incorrect location on the Home screen
- Fixes an issue where CarPlay audio could become distorted
- Fixes an issue where selecting music from your iPhone could fail when playing music over Bluetooth or when connected to USB on some vehicles
Full security contents can be found here.
You can download iOS 11.4 on your iPhone and iPad by accessing the Settings app on your Home screen. From there, select General > Software Update and follow the directions.
This week, Apple also released software updates for Apple Watch and Apple TV.
On Monday, June 4, Apple will hold its keynote address for this year’s WWDC, which should include the first look at iOS 12, and updated software versions for Apple TV, Apple Watch, and Mac.
Are you happy to see AirPlay 2 finally arrive on Apple devices? Let us know in the notes below.