Hands-on: HomePod’s AirPlay 2 multi-room audio, stereo pairing, and Calendar support

Tyler Lizenby  CNET

The features come as part of an update in the form of iOS 11.4, which is out today.

AirPlay 2-ready devices now include the Apple TV set-top box and Apple's HomePod speaker, but third-party speaker makers are expected to update their own devices to support AirPlay 2. Multi-room audio also works on a wide variety of third-party speaker devices.

With the release of iOS 11.4, Messages in iCloud, which keeps your iMessage and SMS messages in sync between your Apple devices, is now available to the public.

Messages in iCloud is coming with iOS 11.4 as well. You can also control the synced speaker directly from the lock screen of iPhones and iPads and also through Siri. It's something that Apple's been promising since the early days of the smart speaker, and now it's finally available as a free software update - for those who can afford to shell out for two $349 speakers, that is.

Alberto, year's first named Atlantic storm, makes Florida landfall
Steady weakening is expected after landfall, and Alberto is forecast to become a tropical depression Monday night or Tuesday . A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible for the area and time frame described.

Editors' note: This story was originally published at 10:01 a.m. PT. Apple TV running tvOS 11.4 will also now show up in the Home app on an iOS device as long as that device is running iOS 11.4.

Messages on iCloud can be turned on from the Settings Tapping on Account iCloud and toggling on iCloud backup for messages.

HomePod, the breakthrough wireless speaker from Apple, now delivers an even more immersive listening experience throughout the home with support for HomePod stereo pairs and a new multi-room audio system in iOS 11.4. You can download watchOS 4.3.1 by going into the Watch app on your iPhone and then selecting General Software Update. 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.

Beyond support for stereo pairing, Apple is mum on other new features in iOS 11.4, and it points users to the "Tips" app in the system to learn more.

MS joins Louisiana in being removed from all Alberto watches and warnings
Residents can expect gusty wind near the coast, isolated tornados and localized flooding from heavy rainfall , the advisory says. The storm, with winds up to 50 miles per hour , is expected to reach landfall in Florida's panhandle early Monday.

Once paired, the speakers rely on the A8 chip to sync and split the left and right stereo channels between the two devices.

AirPlay 2 brings multi-room and stereo HomePod support to match what Google Cast and Amazon Alexa can already do.

For the Mac, go to Preferences within the Messages app and click the checkbox next to Enable Messages in iCloud.

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However, since the bid was accepted, Comcast has become a noisy competitor, offering a higher price for Fox . Disney also owns the rights to the Star Wars movie franchise after buying Lucasfilm in October 2012.

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