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

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On top of this, he says that Apple promises to ramp up its privacy focus with new features that notify users when their data is being shared with developers.

Apple's iOS 11.4 rolls out today, and it brings a big update to HomePods: AirPlay 2 with multi-room audio.

As usual, iOS 11.4 also introduces some important security patches, bug fixes, and under-the-hood improvements. Following the update, AirPlay 2 opens up a whole world of multi-room streaming capabilities that were previously not available on the iPhone or iPad, such as controlling multiple speakers, which, up until now you were only able to do on the MacBook.

HomePod gets stereo-pairingWith the release of software version 11.4, HomePod gains stereo-parring.

Apple on Tuesday rolled out the iOS 11.4 software update for iPhones and iPads.

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iOS 11.4 also adds Messages in iCloud, which has gone through several rounds of beta testing. Do note that to start syncing your messages to iCloud, you'll have to enable it manually in the settings.

IOS 11.4 is out, and it brings with it a feature that was first promised to us in iOS 11.3 created to help streamline messaging between devices. Now, you can finally back up your messages to iCloud, and it's much easier to sync your messages across different devices too. The new update also seems to carry new Red Wallpapers for the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus Red edition phones. It also supports Messages in iCloud. Apple has said that the digital assistant functions aren't as important as the audio features because people mostly use smart speakers to play music.

The company also confirmed that HomePod will arrive in Canada, France, and Germany starting June 18. The update gives you the ability to pair two HomePod units in the same room, allowing them to act as stereo speakers. Rather than just asking Siri to play music on single HomePod in one room, they can also ask her to play the music to a collection of speakers such as "upstairs" or "everywhere".

Apple's HomePod is now the most expensive smart speaker on the market, with a price tag of $499, though a new model is expected to come at a lower cost. Additionally, AirPlay 2 enables you to attend a call or play a game on your iPhone or iPad without interrupting music playback on your AirPlay 2-enabled speakers. Here's the full list of brands offering early support: Sonos, Denon and Marantz, Bose, Bang and Olufsen, Beats, Naim, Devialet, Dynaudio, Polk, McIntosh, Bowers & Wilkins, Libratone, Definitive Technology, and Bluesound.

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