Tuesday, 14 August, 2018

Apple’s HomePod will soon be available in Canada, France, and Germany

HomePod speaker and iPhone X displaying Control Center iOS 11.4 brings stereo pairs and multi-room audio with AirPlay 2
Olivia Ford | 30 May, 2018, 18:20

This means you can play the same song everywhere or move music from one room to another using an iOS device, HomePod, Apple TV, or simply by asking Siri.

Apple just released the iOS 11.4 update, which brings a slew of new features and improvements. Lastly, AirPlay 2 will also allow you to take a call on your iPhone, without interrupting the playback on the speakers. Essentially, the new setup makes it easier for users to play in-sync audio through all (or only some) of the speakers in their home.

Of course, Airplay 2 still supports the ability to wirelessly push video from an iPhone, iPad or Mac onto Apple TV. AirPlay is the promised update to this standard, and it brings multi-room audio support.

Apple will introduce a Beat-branded $250 HomePod smart speaker at WWDC, predicts Apple analyst Gene Munster. You can also control the synced speaker directly from the lock screen of iPhones and iPads and also through Siri.

The following are set to benefit from Apple AirPlay 2.

Almost a year after release, HomePod Stereo Pairing has finally arrived, alongside other goodies with AirPlay 2. 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.

But another key feature in iOS is the long-expected addition of Messages in iCloud, which syncs across all devices and deletes iMessages across everything, so you won't get quite as spammed.

But Messages in Cloud didn't make it to the initial release of iOS 11 last September, and while it's shown up in a few betas since then, Apple has never rolled out the feature to the public at large. Photos and other attachments in messages would now by kept in iCloud, freeing up space on your phone. While this is good for device-storage optimization, it may not be good for users who don't have a lot of iCloud storage to spare.

Beyond support for stereo pairing, Apple is mum on other new features in iOS 11.4, and it points users to the "Tips" app in the system to learn more.

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