IOS 11.4 brings a long awaited messaging feature

HomePod iPhone X iPad and Apple TV lined

Apple will introduce a Beat-branded $250 HomePod smart speaker at WWDC, predicts Apple analyst Gene Munster. iOS 11.4, just released today, brings support for AirPlay 2, allowing users to stream music to multiple speakers at once.

Apple hasn't released sales figures for its speaker, but estimates say the HomePod holds about 3 percent of the overall market in the US, according to a February survey from investment firm Loup Ventures.

Here's a complete tutorial on how you can enable Messages in iCloud in iOS 11 / iOS 11.4 and how you can use it too.

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When I tried out the feature, I soon found out that it requires that both your iPhone and each HomePod be updated to the newest version of their software. HomePod will be able to communicate with other AirPlay 2-enabled speakers as well. AirPlay 2 also lets users answer calls without stopping music playback on the connected speakers.

The new software adds another feature missing from the HomePod: the ability to check your calendar.

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.

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First off, to make Messages in iCloud work you need to download and install iOS 11.4 onto your iOS devices, and macOS 10.13.5 onto your Macs (as of time of publication macOS 10.13.5 has not been released, but is expected shortly). The feature will help reduce iMessages' impact on your iPhone's built-in storage by storing attachments and photos in iCloud.

Credit: Tom's GuideIf you're among the underwhelming number of people who bought the HomePod, the new iOS brings some welcome functionality to your speaker, especially if you own multiple devices. What this means is that you can delete one conversation on a device and it will be gone from another, making the process of managing your conversations far more epic than before.

Under the "Speakers" section, Apple mentioned the support has been "announced" for those products, but not when the respective audio firms will roll out the multi-room audio tech.

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AirPlay, Apple's proprietary wireless streaming protocol, has received a major update in the form of AirPlay 2. The update gives you the ability to pair two HomePod units in the same room, allowing them to act as stereo speakers.

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