Video: Everything new in iOS 11.4 including AirPlay 2, Messages in iCloud, and more

Posted:
in iOS edited April 2
The first developer beta of iOS 11.4 has been released, marking major feature additions like the arrival of AirPlay 2, Messages in iCloud and more. Check out the changes in our hands-on video.





Today's beta arrives less than a week after iOS 11.3 was released with new Animoji, battery health tool, ARKit enhancements and more. Check out our hands-on to see the changes for yourself.




Apple's iOS 11.4 beta was released alongside developer test versions of tvOS 11.4 and watchOS 4.3.1.

What's new

Changes we've highlighted in the video include:

  • Support for the new ClassKit framework

  • Messages in iCloud returns

  • HomePod stereo pairing is here, but requires unreleased HomePod update

  • AirPlay 2 support

Originally announced during WWDC 2017, Messages in iCloud is a feature that synchronizes a user's Messages "stack" between devices. Effectively, this means the same messages will be viewable on all devices a user is logged into with the same account, with messages deleted on one device striking it from all others. The newest messages are stored on-device, while older messages are held in iCloud.

The feature had originally made an appearance in betas for iOS 11, but were removed during the fifth beta release. At the time, Apple said the feature would ship in a future software update. Messages in iCloud did make a reappearance in the first iOS 11.3 beta, but again disappeared in later beta releases.

Also first announced at WWDC 2017, AirPlay 2 is an update to the AirPlay wireless standard that adds multi-room audio, HomeKit integration, and other system-level improvements that allow users to listen to and control content throughout their home.

Apple previously advised existing AirPlay-compatible devices can be updated to support AirPlay 2, though little information about this has been offered following its initial announcement. Third-party manufacturers, including speaker producer Sonos, has pledged compatibility for AirPlay 2, but there has yet to be any product releases supporting the standard.

AirPlay 2 support first arrived in initial betas for iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3, but was removed in later beta releases, and didn't arrive as part of the full iOS 11.3 public release. Its reappearance in the beta suggests Apple wants more testing to be completed before AirPlay 2 is released for public use.

Launched during last week's 'Field Trip' event, ClassKit is Apple's framework for developers to add support for the upcoming Schoolwork app to their own apps.

Arriving in June alongside a beta of the Mac version of Classroom, Schoolwork is a tool for teachers to digitally pass handouts to students and set up assignments for them to complete. Notes, PDF documents, and web links can be sent to students using the iPad App, with teachers able to monitor activity progress and receive assignments back once completed.

Teachers can also assign specific activities within an app, and can directly point students to certain areas of the app. ClassKit is intended to allow developers to make it easier for such in-app activities to take place.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    macseekermacseeker Posts: 375member
    How is iOS 11.4 beta working for the iPads?
  • Reply 2 of 22
    That is great. Now all people around the world would have to have device with iOS in order to do messaging. Hmm... may be not what other people want. I do not see Android wold go iCloud somehow. Partitioning people around messaging is not the best approach probably.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 3 of 22
    I updated to 11.4 and now my AW3 won't sync....keeps asking to make sure it's close by, connected and not in airplane mode....restarted and no matter what I do it won't sync....ugh...betas.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 4 of 22
    Robots78Robots78 Posts: 13member
    That is great. Now all people around the world would have to have device with iOS in order to do messaging. Hmm... may be not what other people want. I do not see Android wold go iCloud somehow. Partitioning people around messaging is not the best approach probably.
    I don't really follow... Unless I'm missing something, standard SMS will be used to send and receive with non-iOS devices, just like it is now. The only change is that now iMessages will be stored/synchronized on iCloud instead of locally.
    SoliXanderPlooyfastasleepmwhitewilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 22
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,847member
    factsonly said:
    I updated to 11.4 and now my AW3 won't sync....keeps asking to make sure it's close by, connected and not in airplane mode....restarted and no matter what I do it won't sync....ugh...betas.
    Have you tried resetting the network settings on your iPhone?
  • Reply 6 of 22
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,292member
    factsonly said:
    I updated to 11.4 and now my AW3 won't sync....keeps asking to make sure it's close by, connected and not in airplane mode....restarted and no matter what I do it won't sync....ugh...betas.
    That's why it's beta... and you shouldn't install on devices you use regularly.
    XanderPlooy
  • Reply 7 of 22
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,490member
    factsonly said:
    I updated to 11.4 and now my AW3 won't sync....keeps asking to make sure it's close by, connected and not in airplane mode....restarted and no matter what I do it won't sync....ugh...betas.
    Sorry - I got the iPhone to see the watch after downloading the latest watchOS 4.3.1 beta profile to my iPhone, but downloading the new watch beta OS to the watch failed to initiate. I was however able to download a new app to the watch after the watchOS 4.3.1 profile was on my iPhone. Probably worth waiting for the next beta release before actually updating the watch to beta, if you're ok with running beta versions on your watch.
    edited April 2
  • Reply 8 of 22
    roakeroake Posts: 563member
    Windows 97 (no, not 98) beta taught me not to use betas on devices I relied on.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 22
    Don’t think “Messages in the cloud” was removed from 11.3 beta. I have whatever the last beta was before 11.3 release (15E5216a) and it’s still there and syncing with my other devices. Unless it’s available to a subset of users...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 22
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,022member
    The vast improvements to every aspect of Apple maps since it launched has been stunning.
    That is great. Now all people around the world would have to have device with iOS in order to do messaging. Hmm... may be not what other people want. I do not see Android wold go iCloud somehow. Partitioning people around messaging is not the best approach probably.
    Yep, you discovered Apple's secret plan to disable all messaging to non iOS devices in the 11.4 update. That's it.
    caliban11fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 22
    jkichline said:
    factsonly said:
    I updated to 11.4 and now my AW3 won't sync....keeps asking to make sure it's close by, connected and not in airplane mode....restarted and no matter what I do it won't sync....ugh...betas.
    That's why it's beta... and you shouldn't install on devices you use regularly.
    So I don’t “rely” on these devices, merely pointing out a flaw in the update but thank you for your comment, as unhelpful as it was. 
  • Reply 12 of 22
    dewme said:
    factsonly said:
    I updated to 11.4 and now my AW3 won't sync....keeps asking to make sure it's close by, connected and not in airplane mode....restarted and no matter what I do it won't sync....ugh...betas.
    Sorry - I got the iPhone to see the watch after downloading the latest watchOS 4.3.1 beta profile to my iPhone, but downloading the new watch beta OS to the watch failed to initiate. I was however able to download a new app to the watch after the watchOS 4.3.1 profile was on my iPhone. Probably worth waiting for the next beta release before actually updating the watch to beta, if you're ok with running beta versions on your watch.
    I can’t get it to update any apps. Keeps saying not connected to the internet. Oh well, I’ll press on until the next release. 
  • Reply 13 of 22
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,847member
    factsonly said:
    dewme said:
    factsonly said:
    I updated to 11.4 and now my AW3 won't sync....keeps asking to make sure it's close by, connected and not in airplane mode....restarted and no matter what I do it won't sync....ugh...betas.
    Sorry - I got the iPhone to see the watch after downloading the latest watchOS 4.3.1 beta profile to my iPhone, but downloading the new watch beta OS to the watch failed to initiate. I was however able to download a new app to the watch after the watchOS 4.3.1 profile was on my iPhone. Probably worth waiting for the next beta release before actually updating the watch to beta, if you're ok with running beta versions on your watch.
    I can’t get it to update any apps. Keeps saying not connected to the internet. Oh well, I’ll press on until the next release. 
    Or, you can troubleshoot it and then report back to Apple.
  • Reply 14 of 22
    caliban11 said:
    Don’t think “Messages in the cloud” was removed from 11.3 beta. I have whatever the last beta was before 11.3 release (15E5216a) and it’s still there and syncing with my other devices. Unless it’s available to a subset of users...
    Yep, I have it on 11.3 beta as well. Never was removed at all for me. 
  • Reply 15 of 22
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 421member
    That is great. Now all people around the world would have to have device with iOS in order to do messaging. Hmm... may be not what other people want. I do not see Android wold go iCloud somehow. Partitioning people around messaging is not the best approach probably.
    What would make you think that Messages on iCloud wouldn't allow you to message anyone outside of IOS devices? Why not try and find out what the exactly it is before assuming Apple is trying to cut you off from non IOS users..that just doesn't make sense?

    mwhitewatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 22
    Soli said:
    factsonly said:
    dewme said:
    factsonly said:
    I updated to 11.4 and now my AW3 won't sync....keeps asking to make sure it's close by, connected and not in airplane mode....restarted and no matter what I do it won't sync....ugh...betas.
    Sorry - I got the iPhone to see the watch after downloading the latest watchOS 4.3.1 beta profile to my iPhone, but downloading the new watch beta OS to the watch failed to initiate. I was however able to download a new app to the watch after the watchOS 4.3.1 profile was on my iPhone. Probably worth waiting for the next beta release before actually updating the watch to beta, if you're ok with running beta versions on your watch.
    I can’t get it to update any apps. Keeps saying not connected to the internet. Oh well, I’ll press on until the next release. 
    Or, you can troubleshoot it and then report back to Apple.
    This is a community. We have comments so people can share their experience with the betas. If you report it to Apple they won’t tell all the other users to not use the beta because of this issue. I appreciate hearing about problems here first so I can know how to fix them if I encounter the same issue. 

    I dont like to just wait till Apple fixes the problem in the next beta. Could be weeks or months. 
     
  • Reply 17 of 22
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,847member
    Soli said:
    factsonly said:
    dewme said:
    factsonly said:
    I updated to 11.4 and now my AW3 won't sync....keeps asking to make sure it's close by, connected and not in airplane mode....restarted and no matter what I do it won't sync....ugh...betas.
    Sorry - I got the iPhone to see the watch after downloading the latest watchOS 4.3.1 beta profile to my iPhone, but downloading the new watch beta OS to the watch failed to initiate. I was however able to download a new app to the watch after the watchOS 4.3.1 profile was on my iPhone. Probably worth waiting for the next beta release before actually updating the watch to beta, if you're ok with running beta versions on your watch.
    I can’t get it to update any apps. Keeps saying not connected to the internet. Oh well, I’ll press on until the next release. 
    Or, you can troubleshoot it and then report back to Apple.
    This is a community. We have comments so people can share their experience with the betas. If you report it to Apple they won’t tell all the other users to not use the beta because of this issue. I appreciate hearing about problems here first so I can know how to fix them if I encounter the same issue. 

    I dont like to just wait till Apple fixes the problem in the next beta. Could be weeks or months. 
    Huh? It sounds like you're saying you like to come to Internet forums to bitch about something not working in a beta without trying to troubleshoot that issue so it will work or letting Apple know about the issue you have and any resolution you may have found so that beta 2 can work better when it comes out. Do you really think Apple releases these betas just so you can bitch about it on AppleInsider? Do you think that's their preferred method for getting feedback on SW issues?
    mwhitebestkeptsecret
  • Reply 18 of 22
    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    factsonly said:
    dewme said:
    factsonly said:
    I updated to 11.4 and now my AW3 won't sync....keeps asking to make sure it's close by, connected and not in airplane mode....restarted and no matter what I do it won't sync....ugh...betas.
    Sorry - I got the iPhone to see the watch after downloading the latest watchOS 4.3.1 beta profile to my iPhone, but downloading the new watch beta OS to the watch failed to initiate. I was however able to download a new app to the watch after the watchOS 4.3.1 profile was on my iPhone. Probably worth waiting for the next beta release before actually updating the watch to beta, if you're ok with running beta versions on your watch.
    I can’t get it to update any apps. Keeps saying not connected to the internet. Oh well, I’ll press on until the next release. 
    Or, you can troubleshoot it and then report back to Apple.
    This is a community. We have comments so people can share their experience with the betas. If you report it to Apple they won’t tell all the other users to not use the beta because of this issue. I appreciate hearing about problems here first so I can know how to fix them if I encounter the same issue. 

    I dont like to just wait till Apple fixes the problem in the next beta. Could be weeks or months. 
    Huh? It sounds like you're saying you like to come to Internet forums to bitch about something not working in a beta without trying to troubleshoot that issue so it will work or letting Apple know about the issue you have and any resolution you may have found so that beta 2 can work better when it comes out. Do you really think Apple releases these betas just so you can bitch about it on AppleInsider? Do you think that's their preferred method for getting feedback on SW issues?
    Soli said:
    factsonly said:
    dewme said:
    factsonly said:
    I updated to 11.4 and now my AW3 won't sync....keeps asking to make sure it's close by, connected and not in airplane mode....restarted and no matter what I do it won't sync....ugh...betas.
    Sorry - I got the iPhone to see the watch after downloading the latest watchOS 4.3.1 beta profile to my iPhone, but downloading the new watch beta OS to the watch failed to initiate. I was however able to download a new app to the watch after the watchOS 4.3.1 profile was on my iPhone. Probably worth waiting for the next beta release before actually updating the watch to beta, if you're ok with running beta versions on your watch.
    I can’t get it to update any apps. Keeps saying not connected to the internet. Oh well, I’ll press on until the next release. 
    Or, you can troubleshoot it and then report back to Apple.
    Soli said:
    factsonly said:
    dewme said:
    factsonly said:
    I updated to 11.4 and now my AW3 won't sync....keeps asking to make sure it's close by, connected and not in airplane mode....restarted and no matter what I do it won't sync....ugh...betas.
    Sorry - I got the iPhone to see the watch after downloading the latest watchOS 4.3.1 beta profile to my iPhone, but downloading the new watch beta OS to the watch failed to initiate. I was however able to download a new app to the watch after the watchOS 4.3.1 profile was on my iPhone. Probably worth waiting for the next beta release before actually updating the watch to beta, if you're ok with running beta versions on your watch.
    I can’t get it to update any apps. Keeps saying not connected to the internet. Oh well, I’ll press on until the next release. 
    Or, you can troubleshoot it and then report back to Apple.
    I was finally able to get it to update. I had to unpair the watch an then re-pair it. Kill off any app updates and then it let me install the AW3 update. All apps updated fine after that.
  • Reply 19 of 22
    ameldrum1ameldrum1 Posts: 249member
    It's a long time since I've been as excited about a feature as I am about iMessage iCloud syncing - having unsynced messages littered across 6 or so devices is not helpful for my mild OCD. Fingers crossed this is finally getting close to release. (Although in the now 9 months or so since it was initially promised I've learned not to hold my breath!) 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 22
    croprcropr Posts: 815member
    ameldrum1 said:
    It's a long time since I've been as excited about a feature as I am about iMessage iCloud syncing - having unsynced messages littered across 6 or so devices is not helpful for my mild OCD. Fingers crossed this is finally getting close to release. (Although in the now 9 months or so since it was initially promised I've learned not to hold my breath!) 
    That's one of the reasons I never used iMessage in the 1st place.  It could not sync between all my devices.  And because I have some non Apple devices next to my MBP , my iPhone and my iPad, it will not be possible with the new version neither.   So I am not that excited about a poor cloud service called iCloud, but of course YMMV.
    williamlondon
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