Just a week ahead of Apple’s expected announcement of iOS 12 at WWDC, the latest update to iOS 11 has dropped. iOS 11.4 brings long-overdue updates that have been promised since last year’s WWDC: AirPlay 2 and Messages on iCloud.
The AirPlay 2 update expands the capability of Apple’s HomePods, bringing multiroom audio, and stereo music playback on the HomePod (you’ll need two). The iOS AirPlay 2 update affects not only mobile devices but also the Apple TV.
Messages on iCloud is another long-anticipated feature. It allows users to sync messages received on iMessages across all devices, meaning notifications are not repeated on all your devices.
Security is also enhanced with end-to-end encryption, bringing it up to par with competitors WhatsApp and Telegram. With messages stored in the cloud (the iCloud), it also means messages are stored independent of the device, allowing users to seamlessly transition between devices (and to their new iPhone).
With Messages shifted to the cloud, iOS 11.4 also resolves reported issues of messages appearing out of order.
Apart from these prominent updates, iOS 11.4 also fixes the Black Dot emoji bug that had caused iMessages to crash upon receipt. Music syncing and Health app syncing issues have also been rectified in the latest update.
As a quick boost for its recent school-oriented release of the iPad, iOS 11.4 also allows teachers to assign readings on the iBooks app via the Schoolwork app that was concurrently revealed in March.