IOS 11.4 dev preview arrives with AirPlay 2 and Messages in iCloud

Days after Apple dropped iOS 11.3 on its adoring iPad and iPhone faithful, the firm has already released the first developer preview for iOS 11.4.

Apple's first HomePod update released last week did not feature the flagship AirPlay 2 feature, which powers stereo pairing and wider multi-room networking.

That's where we'll see iOS 12 unveiled, and Airplay 2 could be a big feature there - so perhaps its presence in 11.4 is just another opportunity to test it out for Apple. Since we know that AirPlay 2 was ready enough to be initially included in the iOS 11.3 update, it's no surprise that Apple has included AirPlay 2 as the big new feature in iOS 11.4.

However, there's no guarantee that these aspects will make the final cut when it comes time to release the iOS 11.4 update to the public.

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The key thing this could enable is stereo use of two Homepods, a feature not enabled at launch. Not a whole lot, but the major changes include the return of AirPlay 2 and Messages in iCloud. With a renewed focus on stability and less pressure on their developers, it should be a good change both for the company and for customers who will receive more polished releases rather than dealing with patch after patch to address sometimes-critical security problems.

Messages in iCloud allows your backups to be stored in the cloud, resulting in space saved on your local device, while also syncing deleted messages as well. Soon you'll be able to hear audio across your entire sound system, and hopefully better integration with the Apple Homepod - Apple's smart speaker which hasn't been as successful as they might have hoped.

As per reports, there's no sure word regarding the availability of any of these features in iOS 11.4 version, but the information is open to modification once the beta is downloaded for a thorough review of the features.

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