I tried out Apple’s new HomePod features. Here’s what I learned

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This free software update introduces the most advanced, easy to use, wireless multi-room audio system using AirPlay 2 to play music in any room from any room, move music from one room to another or play the same song everywhere using an iOS device, HomePod, Apple TV or by asking Siri. HomePod 11.4 also brings stereo pairing to HomePod speakers, allowing users to set up two of them in a stereo configuration.

The new iOS 11.4 update will allow Apple users to use two HomePods together with this feature.

The latest update to iOS 11 will let you listen to audio across rooms and also take advantage of a feature promised so long ago, you might have forgotten that it was coming to your iPhone.

Here's how you can turn Messages in iCloud on. First and foremost, iOS 11.4 adds "Messages on iCloud", which Apple first announced late previous year. With the feature, all your iMessages are stored in iCloud. HomePod will be able to communicate with other AirPlay 2-enabled speakers as well. Messages in iCloud stores all iMessages in Apple's cloud storage rather than on each individual device. Subsequently, if you delete a message on your iPhone, it will also get deleted on other iOS devices and vice-versa. Stereo pairing, combined with HomePod's spacial awareness feature, means that the devices can fill a room with sound that has more depth, balance, and power than before. The new version - which is arriving on iPhone, iPad, and the HomePod - was announced earlier today, with its support for bringing some much-needed features to Apple's smart speaker. If you don't see the update, try again a little later.

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Go to Message app, then go to Preferences, and check the "Messages in iCloud" box to enable it. There've been more Messages fixes over rogue character sequences causing the app to crash, and for conversations to appear out of order.

iOS 11.4 is available to download and install now.

A Health data synchronization error has been fixed, along with an issue that had been preventing some users from changing Health data access for third-party apps. In short, thanks to this iOS update, those who shelled out for a HomePod when it first launched will finally get something approaching what they paid for.

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