New fea­tures

iPad&iPhone user - - FEATURE -

Air­Play 2 and Home­Pod stereo Af­ter a brief ap­pear­ance in iOS 11.3 be­tas, Air­Play 2 was re­moved prior to the fi­nal re­lease. Now, it’s back for good in the fi­nal re­lease of iOS 11.4. Air­Play 2 is the first ma­jor up­date to Ap­ple’s wire­less au­dio stream­ing pro­to­col in years. It pri­mar­ily adds mul­ti­room au­dio to iOS de­vices, when us­ing Air­Play 2 com­pat­i­ble speak­ers. You can ad­just the au­dio lev­els on a room-by-room ba­sis, or even play dif­fer­ent mu­sic in dif­fer­ent rooms. The Home­Pod and Ap­ple TV (4th gen­er­a­tion or later) will be Air­Play 2 com­pat­i­ble with the 11.4 up­date, but some other Air­Play com­pat­i­ble speak­ers will also be up­dated to sup­port the new pro­to­col.

Af­ter com­ing and go­ing sev­eral times though the iOS 11 point re­lease be­tas, the abil­ity to pair up two Home­Pod de­vices in the same room fi­nally lands in iOS 11.4. When you add two HomePods to the same room (dur­ing setup, or by chang­ing the room in the Home app), you’ll be prompted whether you want them to be a stereo pair or not. If you agree, the two HomePods will op­er­ate in sync, play­ing back mu­sic with a wider sound stage than just a sin­gle unit.

Mes­sages in iCloud

We’ve been wait­ing for this for­ever, it seems, so for­give us for be­ing an­noyed that it was re­moved from the fi­nal iOS 11.3 re­lease af­ter work­ing all the way up through the fi­nal beta re­lease.

Mes­sages in iCloud is back in iOS 11.4, though. You should be prompted to en­able it when you first launch Mes­sages. Or you can go to Set­tings, your Ap­ple ID, iCloud, and tog­gle the fea­ture in the list of Apps us­ing iCloud. Of course, for Mes­sages in iCloud to work on your Mac, you’ll need a new ver­sion of macOS 10.13.5 as well.

School­work and ClassKit

At Ap­ple’s ed­u­ca­tion event in March, the com­pany pre­viewed two new soft­ware ini­tia­tives: the School­work app and ClassKit API. School­work is made for teach­ers to hand out in­for­ma­tion, make as­sign­ments, and keep track of their stu­dents’ progress. ClassKit is for devel­op­ers of ed­u­ca­tional apps. It al­lows them to des­ig­nate dif­fer­ent ac­tiv­i­ties and in­for­ma­tion in their apps so that teach­ers can use them with School­work.

Th­ese new fea­tures are live in iOS 11.4, giv­ing ed­u­ca­tional app devel­op­ers plenty of time to im­ple­ment them be­fore the start of the new school year in the au­tumn. How to get it You’ll get a no­ti­fi­ca­tion on your iPhone or iPad when the new ver­sion of iOS is ready, but that no­ti­fi­ca­tion can some­times take a few days to show up. Check im­me­di­ately by go­ing to Set­tings > Gen­eral > Soft­ware Up­date. Your Home­Pod should au­to­mat­i­cally up­date to the lat­est ver­sion of iOS as well, but you can force it to up­date as well. From an iPhone or iPad run­ning iOS 11.4 that is on the same net­work as your Home­Pod, do the fol­low­ing: open the Home app, then tap the lit­tle lo­ca­tion ar­row icon in the up­per left of the Home tab. Scroll down to the Speak­ers sec­tion and tap Soft­ware Up­date.

Fi­nally, multi-room au­dio for those with mul­ti­ple Air­Play 2-com­pat­i­ble de­vices

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