Apple releases iOS 11.4 for iPhone and iPad with AirPlay 2, Messages in iCloud support

Posted:
in iOS edited May 29
Ahead of the unveiling of Apple's future plans for iOS at WWDC, the company has released iOS 11.4 to the public, including support for its ClassKit framework for educational apps, support for AirPlay 2, and the long-overdue addition of Messages in iCloud.

iPhone X AirPlay 2 iOS 11.4


Following after six beta builds issued to developers and public testers, including four builds released in May alone, iOS 11.4 is now available to download to iPhones, iPads, and the iPod Touch as an over-the-air software update.

The final release is largely unchanged from the sixth beta, with the key inclusion being support for ClassKit, Apple's framework for helping developers make their educational apps work with Apple's school-based software, including the Schoolwork app. Apple intends for teachers to request assignments from students, including links that can open up specific parts of another app that needs to be used to complete the task, with ClassKit enabling these links to function.





This is also the release that includes Messages in iCloud, a feature that synchronizes conversations between multiple Apple devices logged into the same Apple ID. Deleting messages from one logged-in device removes it from all connected to the iCloud account. Also, only the newest messages will be stored on-device, with the rest held in iCloud and loaded only when required.

Originally announced for inclusion in iOS 11 during WWDC 2017, Messages in iCloud has been made available for use in betas, but has previously been pulled before Apple publishes the main public release.

AirPlay 2 has also endured an extended period of time in betas without being made available to the general public, previously tested in betas for iOS 11.3 before being removed then reinstated for the iOS 11.4 betas. AirPlay 2 is an update to Apple's wireless streaming protocol AirPlay, adding extra features like multi-room audio support.

Also included is a fix to remove some of the lag in using 3D Touch on supported iPhones, the ability to use Siri to control Apple Music playback on the Apple TV, and other performance improvements.

Users can download the update by opening the Settings app on their device, navigating to General, then Software Update.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    mavemufcmavemufc Posts: 295member
    AirPlay 2, and with new HomePod support it’s now the perfect time for me to buy one.
    williamlondonmagman1979edredjony0caladanianAlex1Nlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 29
    SendMcjakSendMcjak Posts: 65unconfirmed, member
    Well GD -- Apple released AirPlay 2 before WWDC '18!  :D
    patchythepirateLukeCageAlex1Nwillcropointwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 29
    2old4fun2old4fun Posts: 193member
    mavemufc said:
    AirPlay 2, and with new HomePod support it’s now the perfect time for me to buy one.
    No, you need to buy 2.
    Solimagman1979jony0SendMcjakMisterKitcecil444StrangeDaysmuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 29
    lukeilukei Posts: 316member
    Just installed. HomePods (x2) sound great. Like they should have done months ago...
    jony0MisterKitcaladanianAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 29
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 2,842member
    John Gruber posted on his website that Apple is finally caught up with everything they announced at WWDC last year. Sick burn.
    edredwilliamlondoncecil444welshdogAlex1Ndysamoria
  • Reply 6 of 29
    smiffy31smiffy31 Posts: 162member
    When you announce a new software feature, that does not mean that it is ready. Sometimes when developing software things arrive that were not foreseen and major structural changes need to be done. All these armchair commenters about how such and such is late have never developed software or hardware. Software at this level, near perfect up time over millions of instances is not hard, its near impossible, and the slightest hitch in the system will be laughed all over the net, I for one am pleased that when things are hard the delay them until they are ready, rather than deliver a lesser experience.

    At least they have delivered, some companies announce flashy new stuff then realise that they are shooting for the moon and quietly don't ever say anything more. 
    magman1979cecil444LukeCageAlex1Nlolliverpropodmuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 29
    JosephAUJosephAU Posts: 13member
    Is Airport Express included in airplay 2?
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 29
    MisterKitMisterKit Posts: 87member
    I don’t think most people understand the incredible complex DSP engineering that it takes to synchronize a stereo pair of Smart Speakers in real time. I am using the term Smart Speaker strictly in audio terms.
    williamlondonmagman1979StrangeDaysAlex1Nlolliverwillcropointwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 29
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,606member
    MisterKit said:
    I don’t think most people understand the incredible complex DSP engineering that it takes to synchronize a stereo pair of Smart Speakers in real time. I am using the term Smart Speaker strictly in audio terms.
    I'm seeing comments that indicate this new HomePod functionality is not (yet) in stereo. I'm sure there will be some clarification within the next few hours. 
    caladanianMisterKitMplsPAlex1Nmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 10 of 29
    Eric_WVGGEric_WVGG Posts: 330member
    JosephAU said:
    Is Airport Express included in airplay 2?
    :( nope. I was hoping for it too (just for the longer audio buffering). I'm still trying to figure out what Apple expects us to replace this with… a headless Apple TV?
    edited May 29 JosephAUAlex1N
  • Reply 11 of 29
    Eric_WVGG said:
    JosephAU said:
    Is Airport Express included in airplay 2?
    ...a headless Apple TV?
    You do know that such a thing doesn't really exist right because people connect their Apple TVs to... well TVs which acts as a monitor therefore is not headless. :wink:
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 29
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,029member
    I haven't been following messages in the Cloud that closely, are they supposed to be encrypted end to end as well? 
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 29
    John Gruber posted on his website that Apple is finally caught up with everything they announced at WWDC last year. Sick burn.
    I'm still waiting on the AirPower mat..
    Alex1Nwillcropointjohn.b
  • Reply 14 of 29
    Eric_WVGG said:
    JosephAU said:
    Is Airport Express included in airplay 2?
    :( nope. I was hoping for it too (just for the longer audio buffering). I'm still trying to figure out what Apple expects us to replace this with… a headless Apple TV?
    A headless 3rd or 2nd gen Apple TV, right? The only outputs on a 4th gen are USB-C, HDMI and Ethernet, on 4K Apple TV only HDMI and Ethernet. But I’m not sure the 3rd gen even works with AirPlay 2.
  • Reply 15 of 29
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,787member
    John Gruber posted on his website that Apple is finally caught up with everything they announced at WWDC last year. Sick burn.
    It says more about you that you read it as a "sick burn". I read it and just thought it a fact:

    “Software updates are supposed to drop at 1p ET. I think, with this, Apple has caught up to everything announced at WWDC 2017.”

    ...But then, I'm not constantly looking for ways to gnash my teeth with "concern" about Apple or pushing some agenda that says Gruber is trying to burn Apple. He's occasionally critical but by and large quite supportive. A fair observer all around.
    edited May 29 williamlondonlollivermuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 29
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,787member

    MisterKit said:
    I don’t think most people understand the incredible complex DSP engineering that it takes to synchronize a stereo pair of Smart Speakers in real time. I am using the term Smart Speaker strictly in audio terms.
    Indeed not. Everything is always simple to non-software engineers. "Isn't this, like, an easy change?" Have heard this countless times.... 
    williamlondonAlex1Nlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 29
    LukeCageLukeCage Posts: 146member
    lukei said:
    Just installed. HomePods (x2) sound great. Like they should have done months ago...
    If they could’ve released it months ago they would have. What would be the benifit of making people wait, all it does is cause angst and makes pundit “question whether Apple can innovation anymore”. Companies tend to release things as fast as they possibly can. 
    Alex1Nlollivermuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 18 of 29
    Eric_WVGGEric_WVGG Posts: 330member
    Eric_WVGG said:
    JosephAU said:
    Is Airport Express included in airplay 2?
    :( nope. I was hoping for it too (just for the longer audio buffering). I'm still trying to figure out what Apple expects us to replace this with… a headless Apple TV?
    A headless 3rd or 2nd gen Apple TV, right? The only outputs on a 4th gen are USB-C, HDMI and Ethernet, on 4K Apple TV only HDMI and Ethernet. But I’m not sure the 3rd gen even works with AirPlay 2.
    Hah, good point.

    Eric_WVGG said:
    JosephAU said:
    Is Airport Express included in airplay 2?
    ...a headless Apple TV?
    You do know that such a thing doesn't really exist right because people connect their Apple TVs to... well TVs which acts as a monitor therefore is not headless. :wink:
    Google "headless Apple TV" and you'll see that plenty of people have done this with older models; but as JosephAU indicates, that's no longer an option without dedicated audio out, unless you want to set up some kind of ridiculous breaker box…

    this would do the trick: https://www.amazon.com/ViewHD-Extractor-Optical-Toslink-Converter/dp/B00KBHX072
    edited May 29 Alex1N
  • Reply 19 of 29
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,712member
    smiffy31 said:
    When you announce a new software feature, that does not mean that it is ready. Sometimes when developing software things arrive that were not foreseen and major structural changes need to be done. All these armchair commenters about how such and such is late have never developed software or hardware. Software at this level, near perfect up time over millions of instances is not hard, its near impossible, and the slightest hitch in the system will be laughed all over the net, I for one am pleased that when things are hard the delay them until they are ready, rather than deliver a lesser experience.

    At least they have delivered, some companies announce flashy new stuff then realise that they are shooting for the moon and quietly don't ever say anything more. 
    Comparing Apple to someone else's worse marketing doesn't justify Apple's lateness in bringing features to consumers that Apple used as marketing tools to sell hardware.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 20 of 29
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,616member
    “Our security and encryption team has been doing work over a number of years now to be able to synchronize information across your, what we call your circle of devices — all those devices that are associated with the common account — in a way that they each generate and share keys with each other that Apple does not have,” said Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi in an interview with Apple blogger John Gruber. “And so, even if they store information in the cloud, it’s encrypted with keys that Apple doesn’t have.”

    https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/apple-ios-11-imessage-security/

    Interesting. I hope they do a session or two on this next week. 

    The implications of this could be huge. If Apple has now reached a point where they feel they can sync information securely then the AI they use to catalogue photos will be consistent across devices for one thing. (You won’t need to set off recognition on your iPhone and then do the same thing on the iPad). 

    This is what they were waiting for before they could move Siri forward. Your devices can now learn and retain stuff about you, and this information won’t be lost when you buy a new device. 


    patchythepiratejdgazwatto_cobra
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