IOS 11.4 brings a long awaited messaging feature

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Today sees the release of iOS 11.4 and with it Apple is adding AirPlay 2.

Apple officially released the next version of iOS 11.4 to users today bef0re its Apple WWDC event. Eventually, third-party connected speaker companies will also be adding AirPlay 2 support so that their devices will be able to join the multi-room party.

This brings the speaker's functionality more in line with the HomePod's closest competitors, including the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

Use your voice to control AirPlay 2-enabled speakers with Siri from your iPhone, iPad, HomePod or Apple TV. Additional AirPlay 2 speakers are apparently coming from Bang & Olufsen, Bluesound, Bose, Bowers & Wilkins, Denon, Libratone, Marantz, Marshall, Naim, Pioneer and Sonos, as well. The speakers will recognize one another during setup and ask the user whether they want to form a stereo pair.

The biggest advantage that AirPlay 2 brings to the table is multi-room audio support.

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AirPlay 2 multi-room will be operated via the iOS Control Centre. Apple's own HomePods will be automatically supported so there will be no need to manually group speakers. It backs everything up to iCloud and can free up internal storage and let you delete messages on one device and have it also be deleted on every other device.

With two HomePod speakers set up as a stereo pair, Apple's speaker is able to tell where it is placed in a room and adjust the audio profile accordingly, communicating with its twin using a proprietary wireless peer-to-peer link to make sure your music playback is in sync.

Below are the devices that can be updated to iOS 11.4.

iOS 11.4 will finally introduce messages in iCloud to users after months of anticipation.

To turn on Messages in iCloud, enable Messages in iCloud settings (Settings [your name] iCloud). A bug that showed app icons in the wrong place on the home screen has been addressed, too, plus a login issue for Google Drive, Google Docs, and Gmail in Safari.

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