Apple's iOS 11.4 could finally make the HomePod worth buying

White Home Pod speaker on a black shelf

iOS 11.4 brings stereo pairs and multi-room audio with AirPlay 2

Apple today announced the release of iOS 11.4. Apple Music subscribers can also ask Siri to play different songs in different rooms or the same song everywhere, without ever leaving the room.

You now can tell Siri which rooms to play music in, noted The Verge, but like AirPlay 1, it's very much dependent on your phone.

But when we reviewed the £319 HomePod, we stated that most of its teething problems could be fixed, in particular the lack of stereo pairing and potential benefits of AirPlay 2.

However, as more AirPlay 2 devices enter the market you'll be able to integrate them into your multi-room setup.

The good news continues as the list of brands already signed up to support AirPlay 2 is impressive: Bang & Olufsen; Bluesound; Bose; Bowers & Wilkins; Definitive Technologies; Denon; Devialet; Dynaudio; Libratone; Marantz; McIntosh; Marshall; Naim; Pioneer; Polk; and Sonos.

IOS 11.4 is now available to download. Besides asking Siri to control the title of the songs playing, the rooms that they are playing in, and the volume, users can employ the Control Center to handle the same tasks.

Both multi-room audio support as well as stereo pairing are features the Google Home and Amazon Alexa speakers have long had.

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Take a call or play a game on your iPhone or iPad without interrupting playback on your AirPlay 2-enabled speakers.

While those may be the headline features for AirPlay 2, there are some other welcome improvements too. Of course, from the sound of things, the system, naturally, works best with Apple's own smart speaker. Here is what you need to do to enable Messages in iCloud, as well as a recap of some of its advantages.

This update supports setting up your HomePod stereo pair using your iPhone or iPad.

Store your messages, photos and other attachments in iCloud and free up space on your devices.

Here's how you can turn Messages in iCloud on.

Below are the devices that can be updated to iOS 11.4.

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