Apple iOS 11.4 is now out for users. Apple iPhone 5s and above, iPad Air and later, and the iPod touch 6th generation are eligible for the latest iOS 11 update. The iOS 11.4 update is around 330 MB is size. The iOS 11.4 update includes support for AirPlay 2 multi-room audio, support for HomePod stereo pairs and Messages in iCloud. The update also includes bug fixes and improvements. Apple has also rolled out watchOS 4.3.1 for all Apple Watch models.
Coming to the iOS 11.4 update, iPhone and iPad users can go to Settings> General> Software Update and check for new version. One has to make sure they are connected to the internet in order to check for the update. Users will need WiFi on their iOS device in order to download the update. Apple’s iOS 11.4 update also comes with Messages on iCloud, which was actually announced at WWDC 2017.
Messages on iCloud can be turned on from the Settings> Tapping on Account > iCloud and toggling on iCloud backup for messages. When this is turned on all messages (SMS, iMessage) will be backed up to your iCloud account. The feature can be activated in multiple iOS devices, where your account is synced and thus makes it easier to manage message threads. This will also be make it easier when setting up a new iPhone or iPad. All previous message conversations which were synced with iCloud will appear when you set up a iOS device with the same account.
It also means that Messages no longer take up storage on the iPhone, iPad or Mac. This will be helpful for those who are short on space. Messages in iCloud will also store your photos, attachments, etc, from the conversation threads.
AirPlay 2 will allow users to play music in any room, move music from one room to another or play the same song everywhere via their iOS device, HomePod, Apple TV or by asking Siri. HomePod is Apple’s smart speaker powered by Siri, though it is not yet available in India.
The iOS 11.4 update also comes with the option for stereo pairs via two HomePod devices to create a wider soundstage effect. Apple says this will deliver “room-filling sound that is more spacious than a traditional stereo pair” In this “each HomePod automatically adjusts the audio to sound great wherever it is placed and sound great together,” according to the company.
The new iOS 11.4 update will allow Apple users to use two HomePods together with this feature. When a second HomePod is set up in the same room, the user will be asked if they would like to form a stereo pair automatically. HomePod will be able to communicate with other AirPlay 2-enabled speakers as well. Brands like Bang & Olufsen, Bluesound, Bose, Sonos, etc are offering such speakers.