Apple iOS is getting better every time when Apple releases new software updates. Back in March, Apple launched the iOS 11.3 update to the public with new features and changes, ranging from more animoji to new Health Records feature. In April, sources claimed that the release of iOS 11.3 might put an end to iOS 11 and pave the way for iOS 12 this year.
Apple has just released the final build of iOS 11.4 following two weeks of beta testing. Like any other software update, iOS 11.4 comes with system enhancements, but there are still a number of new features we have been expecting since the days of iOS 10, including AirPlay 2 and multi-room audio support.
In the section below, we have compiled a list of all new features in iOS 11.4 update. Before we begin, note that iOS 11.4 update is still rolling out to users worldwide. To check for updates, head to the Settings app from your home screen, then select General > Software Update and install any available updates.
To make sure your personal files are safe and sound, we recommend you back up your phone using iTunes or iCloud before moving ahead.
AirPlay 2 support
AirPlay has been an integral part of Apple’s mobile operating system for years, allowing users to stream audio, video and other content from one device to another. Apple has been improving AirPlay since the launch day to allow for a better streaming experience.
iOS 11.4 update brings support for AirPlay 2 following months of endless rumors and reports. In reality, AirPlay 2 was previously rumored to come out alongside iOS 11.3 update. However, it was nowhere to be found at launch.
With iOS 11.4 update, Apple is finally making AirPlay 2 an essential part of iOS. Tech experts say that Apple needs more time to make sure AirPlay 2 runs smoothly at launch this year. With AirPlay 2 support, users now can stream music and podcasts anywhere to multiple devices across the house. Users can also control their playback directly from the Control Center.
According to Apple, AirPlay 2 now can work with the company’s HomePod smart speaker, allowing users to stream their favorite music tracks around the house without having to manually group compatible speakers.
For Apple Music, subscribers can ask Apple’s virtual helper, Siri to play or switch songs across the house, without leaving their position. Apple says that AirPlay 2 can work with third-party apps or services out there. However, it remains unknown which kinds of devices it supports this year. Sources say that third-party developers have been updating its apps to support AirPlay 2 this year.
Two HomePod speakers
At last year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple officially announced HomePod, the company’s first smart speaker. HomePod serves as Apple’s strategic plan to compete directly with Amazon Echo and Google Home on the market. Apple has been adding new skills to its smart speaker since the launch day.
With iOS 11.4 software update, Apple finally added the ability to pair two HomePod speakers at the same time, allowing them to act as a single stereo speaker.
In reality, stereo pairing feature was rumored to make its debut in iOS 11.3 software update. However, Apple decided to bake it into iOS 11.4. With iOS 11.4 update, HomePod now works perfectly with Apple’s stock Calendar app, which means that you can ask Siri to remind you of upcoming appointments. This is not something new out there, as Google Home and Amazon Echo have been able to do this for some time.
However, HomePod still lacks some important features. One such feature lies in the ability to set multiple timers at the same time. Besides, you cannot initiate phone calls using HomePod, which is a little bit disappointing.
Messages in iCloud
Messages in iCloud is one of the biggest additions to iOS 11. Basically, the feature allows you to sync your messages across multiple Apple devices. However, Apple removed the feature from the final release of iOS 11 back in September for reasons still unknown.
With iOS 11.4 update, Apple finally added Messages in iCloud to iOS 11. Sources say that Apple needed more time to work on the feature ahead of the public release this year.
The coolest part is that Messages in iCloud keeps all of your files up-to-date across all devices. This means that deleting a message on one device would remove it from all your devices. According to Apple, users need to sign into the same accounts so that Messages in Cloud works correctly.
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