Published: Wed, May 30, 2018
Tech | By Constance Martin

Hands-on: HomePod’s AirPlay 2 multi-room audio, stereo pairing, and Calendar support

Hands-on: HomePod’s AirPlay 2 multi-room audio, stereo pairing, and Calendar support

iOS 11.4 is available to download and install now.

I took a look, but the app really just discusses iOS 11 features from what I can see. It also backs up iMessages so that any new device in the account can get old iMessages without restoring a backup. For those with multiple HomePods across their home, they will now be able to fill their entire home with in-sync audio through multiple speakers or only in select areas like a bedroom, office, or patio.

Getting the iOS 11.4 update is simple enough. For HomePod, AirPlay 2 features are automatically supported and music can be streamed around the house without the need to manually group speakers.

Along with revealing that the HomePod is making its way to Canada on June 18th for $449, Apple has also confirmed that iOS 11.4, the next update to its mobile operating system, adds AirPlay 2 multi-room audio support.

iOS 11.4 also includes stereo support for the HomePod, letting you set up two HomePod speakers as a stereo pair.

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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.

The flagship feature of the 11.4 update is the long-awaited launch of AirPlay 2. AirPlay 2 support was originally expected to launch alongside the HomePod in February, but apparently wasn't ready for prime time, so the speaker had been restricted to single-unit performance until today.

Beyond the new music-playback features, the iOS update also lets users ask a HomePod to read out information from Apple's calendar app, as well as schedule new events via voice commands. Deleting a message on one device would remove it from all your devices. That frees up storage space for other things like music, photos, and more.

To get the iOS 11.4 update on your iOS device, go to Settings - General - Software Update. That now changes with iOS 11.4. When you delete one message from one device, it'll delete on all your other synced devices.

To turn on Messages in iCloud, enable Messages in iCloud settings (Settings [your name] iCloud).

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