Apple has released a big update to iOS 11
WWDC is right around the corner, but before Apple reveals all about September’s upcoming iOS 12 update we have a smaller update to dig our teeth into: iOS 11.4.
Let’s take a look at what’s new.
iOS 11.4 will finally bring a long-overdue update to AirPlay, a function used to stream music and/or video from Apple devices to compatible speakers and screens. AirPlay 2 will make various improvements to the feature.
Most notably, multi-room playback. This means you can stream from a single device to multiple sources at once – so if you have speakers in more than one room, you can get full-house audio with everything playing the same music in sync. Neat!
AirPlay 2 will also enable HomePods to work in tandem as a stereo pair for even more impressive room-filling sound.
Messages in iCloud
Like AirPlay 2, this is a somewhat delayed feature that users will be pleased to finally get their hands on.
This is a powerful feature that will allow iMessages to be stored in iCloud, potentially freeing up a decent chunk of storage space on your device. Recent messages will be saved locally, with the rest loaded seamlessly from your iCloud account as and when you need them.
It means that long message chains or large attachments such as video files can be “offloaded” to iCloud rather than consume space on your iPhone or iPad.
It also means that iMessages will stay perfectly in sync between all your devices, and all your chats will appear instantly on a new device. Delete a message on your iPhone and it’ll be gone from your iPad, too.
The third big addition to iOS 11.4 is ClassKit, a framework that will support many of the education functions Apple showed off at its last public event.
This framework allows developers to make their third-party apps compatible with Apple’s education software, including its Schoolwork app. This will allow teachers to set tasks via the app and have students complete work or reading assignments on an iPad.
It sets the foundations for what Apple hopes will become a big part of the education system in the US and beyond.
All this in addition to a slew of less notable bug fixes and minor improvements. These include fixes for some Google services not functioning properly in Safari, audio distortion problems in CarPlay, 3D Touch lag on certain devices, and more.
Apple also makes security improvements with every iOS update, so staying up-to-date is the best way to avoid any potential security threats. This will be the last major update for a few months, so we recommend you download it as soon as possible!
How to update
To install iOS 11.4 for free, simply open the Settings app and tap General followed by Software Update.