After six versions of testing, the iOS 11.4 is now available for users of iPhones, iPads and iPods touch.
The new version of Apple's mobile operating system (build 15F79) finally brings, among other things, two long-awaited features: AirPlay 2 and Messages on iCloud.
With the arrival of AirPlay 2, HomePod owners can now have an even more immersive audio experience throughout the home.
With two speakers configured as a stereo pair, each HomePod automatically adjusts the audio for optimal sound wherever it may be, using a wireless point-to-point direct link designed by Apple to communicate and play music. Each HomePod is capable of reproducing its own left or right audio channel, creating a filling sound with a greater extension of bass, in addition to a deeper and more accurate reproduction of low frequencies.
When a second HomePod is set up in the same environment, the user is asked if they would like to form a close pair. That simple. And even though these two units act as one, each HomePod communicates with each other so that only one speaker responds to Siri's requests.
In addition, we also have the possibility of Multi-Room with the arrival of AirPlay 2. This feature allows a wireless multiple audio system, creating an easy way to transmit music or podcasts anywhere in the house to different devices, all in sync.
With HomePods properly positioned around the house, just select the music playback on the desired speakers by the Control Center. It is also possible to directly ask Siri to play music in a given environment or in multiples, according to your will.
It?s worth noting that HomePod can communicate with other speakers compatible with AirPlay 2, when they are available (from well-known brands like Bang & Olufsen, Bluesound, Bose, Bowers and Wilkins, Denon, Libratone, Marantz, Marshall, Naim, Pioneer and Sonos).
In addition to multi-room audio transmission, AirPlay 2 also comes with performance improvements and delays in commands.
Messages in iCloud
The feature is nothing more than the option to sync all of your conversation history through the Messages app (Messages) in the cloud, via iCloud. So, regardless of how many Apple devices you have, when receiving or deleting a message on one, the same behavior extends to the others.
In addition, it is a great resource for those who may lose their cell phone and, for some reason, do not have a recent backup made. With all messages stored in the cloud, just take another device, activate the feature that all messages will be properly synchronized again.
In addition to bug fixes and general improvements, iOS 11.4 also brought the possibility for Siri (on HomePod) to check calendar appointments in addition to the existing possibilities for interactions with reminders, notes, messages, timer, podcast, news, sports, traffic, weather, control HomeKit devices and more.
Here's the changelog complete:
IOS 11.4 includes audio in multiple rooms via AirPlay2, compatibility with stereo pairs of HomePods and Messages on iCloud. This update also includes bug fixes and improvements.
- Control your home audio system and AirPlay2 compatible speakers in your home
- Play music at the same time on multiple AirPlay2 compatible speakers in your home, all in sync
- Control AirPlay2-compatible speakers in the Control Center, Locked screen or AirPlay controls in apps on iPhone or iPad
- Use your voice to control AirPlay2 compatible speakers using Siri on iPhone, iPad, HomePod or AppleTV
- Get a call or play a game on your iPhone or iPad without interrupting playback on AirPlay2-compatible speakers
HomePods stereo pair
- This update allows you to configure a narrow pair of HomePods using the iPhone or iPad
- HomePod automatically detects where it is located in the room and balances the sound based on the location of the speakers
- The advanced technology of beamforming offers a wider sound environment than a traditional stereo pair
- The HomePod will be updated automatically to provide compatibility with stereo pairs, unless automatic updates are disabled in the Home app
Messages in iCloud
- Store your messages, photos and other attachments on iCloud and free up space on your devices
- All your messages appear when starting a session on a new device with the same iMessage account
- When you delete messages and conversations, they are instantly removed from all your devices
- To activate Messages in iCloud, activate the Messages option in the iCloud settings (Settings> (your name)> iCloud)
- Your conversations continue to use end-to-end encryption
Other improvements and fixes
- Allows teachers to distribute reading activities to their students on iBooks using the ProjetoEscolar app
- Corrects an issue where certain strings could cause the Messaging app to crash
- Addresses an issue with the Messages app that could cause some messages to temporarily appear out of order
- Fixes an issue that could prevent you from logging in or accessing files on GoogleDrive, GoogleDocs and Gmail in Safari
- Fixes an issue that could prevent data syncing on the Sade app
- Addresses an issue that could prevent users from changing which apps could access data from the Sade app
- Resolves an issue that could cause an app to appear in an incorrect position on the Home screen
- Fixes an issue that could distort CarPlay audio
- Addresses an issue where music selection on iPhone could fail to play via Bluetooth or connect via USB to some vehicles
For information on the security content of Apple software updates, visit this website: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201222
Direct download from iOS 11.4
The new version is now available for installation by both iTunes and OTA (over-the-air), going General Software Update Settings on iOS. However, for those who prefer to download the respective IPSW file manually, here are the links below:
HomePod in more countries
Until then, HomePod was sold in only three countries: the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom. Today Apple announced that, as of June 18, the smart speaker will also be available on Germany, at the Canada and on France.
This means that Siri at HomePod is expanding its languages ??beyond English, now speaking German and French Apple, however, said that support for Canadian French will come later.
What else comes by?
We are less than a week away from the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2018 and, as we are seeing, Apple has chosen to launch iOS 11.4 and publicize the expansion of HomePod outside the event. This indicates that the company probably has enough news to announce over there and that it would not have time to talk about everything next Monday.
We will see what awaits us with the full coverage of MacMagazine, clear!