IOS 11.4 brings a long awaited messaging feature

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Apple's iOS 11.4 is available for download now.

Today sees the release of iOS 11.4 and with it Apple is adding AirPlay 2. The release comes almost two months after Apple released the first beta versions of iOS 11.4, macOS 10.13.5, tvOS 11.4, and watchOS 4.3.1.

When accessed by MyBroadband, the update was 306.5MB in size for the iPhone X.

Below are the devices that can be updated to iOS 11.4. The big improvement here is that AirPlay will now be able to handle streaming to multiple speakers, and will function much more like a multi-room system, similar to that of Sonos.

Multi-room audio was a feature that was oddly missing from the HomePod when it launched, especially since rival speakers from the likes of Amazon, Google and even Sonos had the functionality. That's one of the lingering frustrations with the current version of AirPlay that HomePod is using. When they're available, you'll be able to find them here.

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With two HomePod speakers set up as a stereo pair, Apple's speaker is able to tell where it is placed in a room and adjust the audio profile accordingly, communicating with its twin using a proprietary wireless peer-to-peer link to make sure your music playback is in sync. Apple's own HomePods will be automatically supported so there will be no need to manually group speakers.

Advanced beamforming provides wider soundstage than traditional stereo pair. You can turn it on - after you've installed iOS 11.4, of course - by going to Settings, then tapping your name at the top of the list, and then choosing "iCloud" and toggling the option there.

All your messages appear when you sign in to a new device with the same iMessage account. 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.

Conversations are still end-to-end encrypted, Apple points out, and Messages in iCloud isn't enabled by default.

Elsewhere, there are the usual bugfixes and tweaks we're used to seeing in any iOS update. iBooks is gaining the ability for teachers to assign students reading activities, controlled through the teacher's Schoolwork app, for example. Finally, there's a fix for distorted CarPlay audio, as well as audio over Bluetooth or USB in certain cars.

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