Published: Wed, May 30, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Preston Stone

Apple's iOS 11.4 could finally make the HomePod worth buying

Apple's iOS 11.4 could finally make the HomePod worth buying

Once your devices are updated to iOS 11.4, HomePod will automatically update for the pairing support. You can also control the synced speaker directly from the lock screen of iPhones and iPads and also through Siri. So if you haven't already, please go ahead and install iOS 11.4 on your iPhone, iPad or iPod right now.

AirPlay 2 is Apple's updated way to store content to TVs and other devices.

With AirPlay 2 available on your iOS 11.4 running devices, you can control your compatible home audio system and speakers, which are based on the new AirPlay protocol, throughout your home location.

AirPlay 2-ready devices now include the Apple TV set-top box and Apple's HomePod speaker, but third-party speaker makers are expected to update their own devices to support AirPlay 2.

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The wireless audio protocol has been integrated deep into iOS and tvOS as well as HomeKit, meaning that Airplay 2 devices will show up in the Home app. Additionally, AirPlay 2 enables you to attend a call or play a game on your iPhone or iPad without interrupting music playback on your AirPlay 2-enabled speakers. This might change when Sonos enables Google Assistant support in the near future. Multi-room audio lets HomePods synchronize music playback in different rooms, while the other feature allows users to pair two HomePods next to each other to create stereo sound. That was a major missing feature for the HomePod at launch, especially for a device that's supposed to act as the center of your smart home. There is also an advanced beamforming that is claimed to provide wider soundstage than a traditional stereo pair.

Of course, Airplay 2 still supports the ability to wirelessly push video from an iPhone, iPad or Mac onto Apple TV. I took a look, but the app really just discusses iOS 11 features from what I can see.

But wait, there's more - you end up saving space on your device as well as your messages are offloaded to Apple's iCloud servers. Also if you delete a Message on any device it will be removed from other synced devices as well.

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

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