iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3 Introduce Support for AirPlay 2

The new developer betas of iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3 introduce AirPlay 2 features, allowing for multi-room music playback on Apple TVs using your iPhone.

With iOS 11.3 installed on an iOS device and tvOS 11.3 installed on one or more fourth or fifth-generation Apple TVs, you can use AirPlay 2 to stream music to multiple devices at the same time.

airplay2appletv
For example, with two Apple TVs running tvOS 11.3 set up in different rooms in the house, you can use the iPhone to play the same song on both, successfully using the multi-room audio feature of AirPlay 2.

Installing tvOS 11.3 prompts you to add your Apple TV to your HomeKit setup, and you'll be asked to choose a room for it during the setup process. After that's done, the Apple TV is displayed as an available device in the Home app. You can't do much with Apple TV in the Home app, but you can play and pause music.

appletvhomekit
Announced as part of iOS 11 back in June when the operating system was first introduced, AirPlay 2 introduces features like multi-room audio playback from iOS devices and improved buffering.

AirPlay 2 functionality is limited to devices running the current iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3 developer betas, so it basically only works with the Apple TV right now. AirPlay 2 has not yet officially been released by Apple, but in the future, third-party speakers and Apple's own HomePod will support the feature. When AirPlay 2 compatible devices are widely available, you will be able to use AirPlay 2 to control all of the different speakers and devices located throughout your home, for a full multi-room audio experience.

HomePod, which will be available starting on February 9, will not ship with multi-room audio support. It's possible multi-room HomePod playback will be available once iOS 11.3 launches to the public, however, as iOS 11.3 is not set to be released until the spring.

Apple hasn't provided specific details on when the HomePod will be updated with multi-room support beyond stating that it will come in a later update, and AirPlay 2 was missing from the detailed rundown of iOS 11.3 features that Apple shared this morning ahead of the beta's release, so Apple's plans aren't quite clear.

At the current time, AirPlay 2 on iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3 is rather buggy and the implementation is clearly incomplete, but Apple will likely make significant improvements over the iOS 11.3 beta testing period.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 14
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy)

Top Rated Comments

DisNerd Avatar
37 months ago
And a firmware update for airport express? Please?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ipedro Avatar
37 months ago
I hope that you’ll be able to add an AppleTV to automations.

Examples:
- good night scene turns off the TVs in the house
- arriving home, turns on the tv and starts an Apple Music playlist.
- wake up to the news.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vipergts2207 Avatar
37 months ago

Why do I want to play the same song on multiple TV's with ****** speakers?

I am sure this is mostly released and needed for HomePod for multi-room audio, but this is why Apple boggles me because something called an Apple "TV" product should do "TV" things well, and not stick on features for it to be used as a mediocre audio gateway. I mean I can buy two ChromeCast Audio's to get multi-room audio for about 1/4 the price of a new Apple TV, and 1/8 the price of TWO of them, and Google already supported multi-room audio over WiFi a year ago.

Obviously the real benefit that would make AirPlay 2 work well for Apple TV would be to use with wireless speakers for easier surround sound setup but to rush this feature to market so people can play a song on multiple TV's is silly.

You realize not everyone uses garbage TV speakers or sound bars with their ATV's right? My ATV is hooked up to my entertainment center with a several thousand dollar surround sound setup. As soon as Apple gets their act together and finally releases AirPlay 2 (I don't do betas), I'm going to add a set of bookshelves and maybe a sub to the bedroom TV so that I can get a start on multi-room audio. Many people are looking forward to AirPlay 2 on the ATV because they have the equipment to take advantage of it.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ErikGrim Avatar
37 months ago

I hope that you’ll be able to add an AppleTV to automations.

Examples:
- good night scene turns off the TVs in the house
- arriving home, turns on the tv and starts an Apple Music playlist.
- wake up to the news.

All of this please.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BWhaler Avatar
37 months ago
So how far behind is iOS 12 given Apple is still finishing iOS 11 features?

Or will it be a Bug Fixing year? (And hopefully a real one, as the big this year are brutal.)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Slix Avatar
37 months ago
Other than the queuing songs feature and the “improved buffereing”, what different is this from playing music through multiple AirPlay speakers with iTunes? Been doing that for over 10 years.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

m1 chip macbook air pro

Kuo: Redesigned MacBooks With Apple Silicon to Launch in Second Half of 2021

Tuesday November 24, 2020 7:53 pm PST by
Apple plans to release additional MacBook models with Apple Silicon in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, as part of the company's two-year transition away from Intel processors across its Mac lineup. In a research note today, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said that these MacBook models will feature a new design. Kuo did not specify which models these will be, but he...
Apple Watc black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Watch Deals [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 4:01 pm PST by
Black Friday sales have begun on a variety of products, including the Apple Watch. There are quite a few deals across the Apple Watch lineup this year, including one of the lowest price we've ever seen the Apple Watch Series 3. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the...
AirPods Pro black friday 20 sale feature 2

Black Friday 2020: AirPods Pro Reach Lowest Price Ever [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 3:22 pm PST by
Black Friday has kicked off this week, and one of the first major sales for the AirPods Pro is available right now on Walmart. You can find this deal below, along with a few other solid discounts on the regular AirPods. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site...
13 16 inch macbook pro air trio

Reliable Leaker Suggests Redesigned MacBooks in 2021 Will Include Both Apple Silicon and Intel Models

Wednesday November 25, 2020 9:15 am PST by
Reliable leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today suggested on Twitter that redesigned MacBooks coming in the second half of 2021 will include models with both Apple Silicon chips and Intel processors. The brief Tweet came in response to a MacRumors article from earlier today, which outlined a report from Ming-Chi Kuo claiming that Apple plans to release redesigned MacBook models with Apple ...
mac mini macbook pro macbook air

Apple M1 Hands-On Comparison: MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac Mini

Monday November 23, 2020 3:40 pm PST by
Apple's M1 Macs are out in the wild now, but ahead of the holidays, you might still be trying to figure out which one to pick up, either for yourself or as a gift for someone else. We've got all three of the new Macs available, so we thought we'd give MacRumors readers a hands-on overview of each machine in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...
app store christmas icon

Apple Shutting Down App Store Connect From December 23 to December 27

Monday November 23, 2020 10:14 am PST by
Apple shuts down App Store Connect for a week around the holidays each year in an effort to give App Store staff time off from work. This year, App Store Connect will be unavailable from December 23 to December 27. With App Store Connect unavailable, Apple will not accept new apps or app updates, so all pricing changes and new app submissions need to be locked in before those dates for...
iPads black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best iPad Deals [Updated]

Tuesday November 24, 2020 8:51 am PST by
Black Friday is underway, and we're tracking discounts across Apple's lineup of iPads, including the current-generation 10.2-inch iPad, iPad Air, and iPad Pro. We'll be keeping this post updated as new deals appear and current ones expire, so be sure to keep checking back for the latest. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a...
Target November Deals 1

Black Friday Spotlight: Target Begins Week-Long Sale With Deals on iPhone 12, Powerbeats Pro, and More

Monday November 23, 2020 8:07 am PST by
We've been tracking early Black Friday deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, and in an effort to prepare our readers for the big shopping event we're highlighting sales store-by-store in the lead-up to November 27. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Target. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running....
new mac mini logicpro screen

M1 Macs Able to Run Up to Six External Displays Using DisplayLink

Tuesday November 24, 2020 6:53 am PST by
It is possible to run up to six external displays from the M1 Mac mini, and five external displays from the M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, with the aid of DisplayPort adapters, according to YouTuber Ruslan Tulupov. This far exceeds Apple's specified limits on external displays with the M1 Macs. Apple's host of new M1 Macs are not capable of supporting as many external displays as their...
2020 apple shopping event

Apple Offering Up to $150 Gift Card With Select Products on Black Friday Through Cyber Monday

Monday November 23, 2020 2:53 am PST by
Apple has announced its annual four-day shopping event, offering customers up to a $150 Apple Store gift card with the purchase of select products between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States. The gift card values in the United States are as follows: $150 for 16-inch MacBook Pro $150 for 21.5-inch iMac $50 for 13-inch MacBook Pro $50 for MacBook Air $50 for iPhone SE,...