Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

Apple HomePod launching in more countries

HomePod speaker and iPhone X displaying Control Center Apple HomePod launching in more countries
Pete Mitchell | 30 May, 2018, 18:20

Anyone with a compatible Apple TV or Apple Watch is able to grab the latest tvOS and watchOS OTA updates right now from the respective update mechanisms found on the respective devices themselves. Further, all your messages will appear on your new device when you sign in using the same iMessage account. Here's what you need to know about the original protocol and how AirPlay 2 improves it.

Apple introduced AirPlay in 2011 which was first known as AirTunes.

Apple has finally released Airplay 2 – nearly one year after the announcement.

Compared to Bluetooth audio streaming, AirPlay is supposed to sound better due to wider bandwidth that Wi-Fi provides. Users can now play music in any individual room, or in multiple rooms simultaneously. It will also let you ask Siri to play music in a specific room or throughout the house. You can stream music or audio from any service, including Apple Music, Spotify, TuneIn, and the podcast app.

OK, so why might you not want to activate this feature? Phone calls and video audio will no longer interrupt music playback. Once you have HomePods associated with different rooms, you can control them the way you might control lights or temperature.

AirPlay had its limitations. So for example if you have two HomePod and one Airplay 2-enabled soundbar, you can beam your TV audio to all three in ideal synchronization. You can also ask Siri to play songs; just say the song and say the room.

Credit: Tom's GuideIf you're among the underwhelming number of people who bought the HomePod, the new iOS brings some welcome functionality to your speaker, especially if you own multiple devices. You'll even be able to send audio from your iPhone or Mac to your Apple TV and your other speakers simultaneously.

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There are still some issues, though: yes, HomePod now supports Apple's calendar app, but still cannot distinguish between voices, so anyone within speaking range of one of your HomePods can access your calendar data (you can turn off calendar support in settings, of course).

Apple AirPlay 2 vs AirPlay: Which Apple devices support it? Once your devices are updated to iOS 11.4, HomePod will automatically update for the pairing support. And it also works with SMS across devices. AirPlay 2 is more restricted at launch. It must be said that Beats has always been primarily a headphones brand, so a Siri Pill is not yet an inevitability by any means. Sonos is presently working on bringing AirPlay 2 support to its speakers.

Messages in iCloud will use end-to-end encryption, and uses cloud storage instead of local storage for message archives and attachments.

Almost a year after release, HomePod Stereo Pairing has finally arrived, alongside other goodies with AirPlay 2.

Apple AirPlay 2 vs AirPlay: Which is better?

Apple iOS 11.4 is available for download right now on iPhones and iPads.

Manufacturers that pledged to support AirPlay 2 include Bang & Olufsen, Bose, Bowers & Wilkins, Marshall, Pioneer, and Sonos.

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