2 min read

A week before its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple released iOS 11.4 for iPhones, iPads, and iPods. The new update got released just a month after the release of 11.3.1.

The new release includes features such as AirPlay 2 multi-room audio, HomePod stereo pairing support, and storing messages in iCloud.

Let’s have a look at the key features and upgrades in this new iOS 11.4 release:

Major updates and highlights

AirPlay 2

AirPlay 2 was announced by Apple last year at the Worldwide Developers Conference. It is Apple’s proprietary system that enables users to stream audio and videos from Apple devices to any other device with the help of wifi or other wired networks. It comes with following features:

  • AirPlay 2 lets you play a particular song on different speakers situated throughout the house.
  • It allows you to play music in a room from another room using an iOS device, HomePod, Apple TV, or Siri voice commands. After AirPlay 2’s integration with HomeKit, you can find the AirPlay 2 devices now displayed in the Apple Home app.
  • AirPlay 2 allows you to control where music plays with the help of control center, lock screen or within apps on an iOS device.
  • You can ask Siri to play music for you in any or multiple rooms with a device compatible with AirPlay 2 such as iPhone, iPad, HomePod, or Apple TV.
  • Picking a call or playing a game on your iPhone or iPad is possible with AirPlay 2 without interrupting the playback on speakers.

HomePod Stereo pairing

HomePod which is Apple’s powerful speaker has also been updated in iOS 11.4 and has gained support for stereo pairing which allows you to group two HomePod speakers within a room as one. Updates to the HomePod Stereo are as follows:

  • You can set up the HomePod stereo pair using iPhone or iPad.
  • HomePod pair senses the location automatically and balances the sound on the speakers depending on its location.

Messages in iCloud

First promised as an iOS 11 feature, you’ll now be able to synchronize and store the Messages app history across all of your iOS and macOS devices in iOS 11.4.

  • You can store all your messages, videos, photos, etc for free on iCloud. This helps free up space on your Apple device.
  • On signing into a new device with the same iMessage account, all the messages appear.
  • On deletion, conversations and messages are instantly removed from all your devices.
  • All conversations are end-to-end encrypted.

Apart from these key features and upgrades, there have also been certain improvements and fixes which can be found on the official iOS 11.4 update release notes by Apple.

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Tech writer at the Packt Hub. Dreamer, book nerd, lover of scented candles, karaoke, and Gilmore Girls.


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