Apple's HomePod comes to the party with multi-room audio

Delia Walker
May 30, 2018

Apple today announced the release of iOS 11.4.

Apple's update will arrive amid rumours the company plans to unveil a second, smaller HomePod at its annual developers conference, WWDC, in San Jose next week.

Ask Alexa to play music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn and SiriusXM. Subsequently, if you delete a message on your iPhone, it will also get deleted on other iOS devices and vice-versa.

"The knock on HomePod is its $349 price is about 2-3x the price of a typical smart speaker", Munster writes.

- “Using spatial awareness to sense their location in the room, each HomePod automatically adjusts the audio to sound great wherever it is placed and sound great together, ” said Apple.

Start and control your music with your voice. You can also ask Siri to play songs on different speakers, thought Apple Music subscribers can only take advantage of this function. These controls can be found in Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of your iPhone's screen.

All AirPlay 2 devices can be controlled using an iOS device, HomePod, Apple TV, or by asking Siri. And it also works with SMS across devices.

AirPlay was supported on several older speakers and soundbars from third-party manufacturers. Brands like Bang & Olufsen, Bluesound, Bose, Sonos, etc are offering such speakers. It does however come with a new user-facing alert created to inform users that specific apps will not be compatible with future versions of watchOS, suggesting that support for watchOS 1 is going to be removed in the near future.

Messages in iCloud will use end-to-end encryption, and uses cloud storage instead of local storage for message archives and attachments. The update gives you the ability to pair two HomePod units in the same room, allowing them to act as stereo speakers.

Apple AirPlay 2 vs AirPlay: Which is better?

Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad. Tap there, and the iOS 11.4 update should be waiting for you to download just by following the onscreen prompts. It's not just iPhone owners that benefit though, as AirPlay 2 also brings with it multi-room playback for the HomePod.

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