IOS 11.4 brings a long awaited messaging feature

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iOS 11.4 brings stereo pairs and multi-room audio with AirPlay 2

Earlier today, Apple announced that it was releasing iOS 11.4 with AirPlay 2 support and Messages in iCloud. This update also includes bug fixes and improvements.

Multi-room audio was a feature that was oddly missing from the HomePod when it launched, especially since rival speakers from the likes of Amazon, Google and even Sonos had the functionality.

AirPlay 2 is available for all iOS devices and HomePod (no news on Mac support yet).

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However, as more AirPlay 2 devices enter the market you'll be able to integrate them into your multi-room setup.

Use your voice to control AirPlay 2-enabled speakers with Siri from your iPhone, iPad, HomePod or Apple TV. Currently Sonos is working on adding AirPlay 2 support to its speakers.

Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad. And this in turn means it may well be possible to cobble together a cheaper multi-room system over your entire house, as well as freeing consumers from having to be brand-loyal and submit to one company's audio tech throughout the home.

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AirPlay 2, as the name implies, is a sizeable update to the existing streaming technology. This feature allows two HomePod units in the same room to stream music in stereo with individual left and right channels. And you'll be able to ask Siri to play a given song in the bedroom or in the living room. Apple will offer the $349 speakers in Canada, France, and Germany starting on June 18. In short, thanks to this iOS update, those who shelled out for a HomePod when it first launched will finally get something approaching what they paid for. And Apple has developed algorithms to deliver balanced sound. If the 11.4 update is available then it will show up here, otherwise you'll see a message saying that your device is already up to date.

Store your messages, photos and other attachments in iCloud and free up space on your devices.

Addresses a Messages issue that could cause some messages to appear out of order.

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