Apple released iOS 11.3 to the Public previous week, beta testers and developers already have a hot new version of the iPad and iPhone’s operating system hands-on with which to play.
The newly released iOS 11.4 beta 2 is now available to download alongside new versions of Apple’s other software, again in early beta form.
While the downloads have only been available via Apple’s servers for a very short time indeed, we do usually have an idea of what can expect from the new release thanks to Apple’s official release notes.
When iOS 11.4 beta is concerned, there are a few major additions to this latest seed, which have already appeared in previous betas. Changes, you will find are minimal, that Apple has yet to document and yet more that will never find their way into the official beta release documentation.
However, at least, the release notes of iOS 11.4 are essentially a list of things that are broken and are known to be so. To those planning to install this beta, it will likely stand you in good stead to take a moment to read through the perspective, the potential issues you may encounter and, importantly, the workarounds required in order to rectify them in the short term.
You are been warned. Because it’s most effectively the life of someone who lives on the bleeding edge of beta releases.
One of such issues that may come up for some is related to music playback. According to Apple, “In certain circumstances playback may get stuck at the end of the first track.” Still, it could be worse!
First and foremost, support for AirPlay 2 has reappeared. You’ll need to update your Apple TV to the latest tvOS beta to actually test out the feature, but it’s there. AirPlay 2, first displayed at WWDC 2017, brings multi-room audio to supported devices, allowing you to play music in more than one location, simultaneously. With AirPlay 2, you can also individually control the volume of the speakers throughout your house right from the Control Center interface. AirPlay 2 will actually make its way to Apple’s HomePod stereo speaker once a HomePod software update is released, but as of today, it’s limited to the tvOS-driven Apple TV 4 and Apple TV 4K.
The second addition to reappear in the iOS 11.4 beta is stereo pairing for the HomePod. It’s impossible to test out the feature right now, unfortunately, because the iOS 11.4 beta for the HomePod has yet to be released. But nevertheless, the UI inside the Home app is now back, allowing you to explore what it’ll be like to set up stereo pairing between two HomePods once it officially launches.
The last but not least feature to grace iOS 11.4 beta 1 is Messages on iCloud. This feature will allow you to sync your Messages app data across all eligible Mac and iOS devices. For instance, if you delete a message on one device, it’s deleted on all other synced devices. Messages on iCloud also make it possible to easily restore iMessage data on a clean iOS install.
For now, we’re more interested in what new features we could have to play with, so we’re going to keep our eyes peeled for anything of interest. Check out the complete set of release notes below.
Update x1: AirPlay 2 is back in iOS 11.4 betas removed from iOS 11.3. Messages on iCloud is also back in this release after being removed in final version of iOS 11.3. Stereo-pairing is available for HomePod running 11.4 firmware.
Update x2: ClassKit framework’s APIs are now available.
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