AirPlay 2 and HomePod stereo pairing arrive with iOS 11.4

Tyler Lizenby  CNET

Tyler Lizenby CNET

Once paired, the speakers rely on the A8 chip to sync and split the left and right stereo channels between the two devices. Messages in iCloud allows users to store and sync their Messages across multiple devices via iCloud, a feature which was initially promised in iOS 11, and made an appearance in the iOS 11.3 betas before being pulled from the final release. With the feature, all your iMessages are stored in iCloud.

AirPlay 2 controls are available across iOS within any app and in Control Center for quick access to what's playing in every room, on every speaker.

Messages in iCloud have been coming soon for nearly a while now, and its good the firm is finally delivering on their promise.

iPhone users will be pleased to see AirPlay 2 support come to so many third-party speakers, especially given the mixed reception afforded to Apple's expensive HomePod speaker. The feature comes after repeated delays in previous versions of iOS 11, despite its announcement nearly a year ago. Just launch the Settings app, tap on General and scroll down to Software Update. Messages in iCloud also makes it easier to delete message information-delete a message, photo, or other attachment from one device and it automatically disappears from all of your other iCloud-connected devices. With iOS 11.4, for example, you'll be able to take a call or play a game on your iPhone or iPad, without that interrupting the music playback on AirPlay 2 enabled speakers like HomePod. That now changes with iOS 11.4. Your device should be running on a Wi-Fi connection to download the over-the-air (OTA) update.

Here's how you can turn Messages in iCloud on. And you'll finally find support for Messages in iCloud, a syncing feature Apple first touted at last year's Worldwide Developer Conference but had yet to deliver in iOS 11. Apple has also rolled out watchOS 4.3.1 for all Apple Watch models. This helps to save some local storage space on your devices. Once you've done this, the iPhone's Home app will ask you if you want to "create stereo pair" when two HomePods are plugged in and activated in the same room.

Go to Message app, then go to Preferences, and check the "Messages in iCloud" box to enable it.

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