Apple Releases iOS 11.4 With Messages in iCloud and AirPlay 2

Apple today released iOS 11.4, the fourteenth update to the iOS 11 operating system that was first introduced last September. iOS 11.4 comes a month after the release of iOS 11.3.1, an update that introduced a bug fix for a display repair issue.

iOS 11.4 is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the update, go to Settings --> General --> Software Update. Eligible devices include the iPhone 5s and later, the iPad mini 2 and later, the iPad Air and later, and the 6th-generation iPod touch.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

iOS 11.4 is an audio-focused update, introducing support for multi-room audio through a new protocol that supports multi-room audio on all AirPlay 2 enabled devices.

Right now, AirPlay 2-compatible devices include the Apple TV and the HomePod, but in the future, AirPlay 2 will be available on third-party speakers from manufacturers like Bang & Olufsen, Bluesound, Bose, Bowers & Wilkins, Denon, Libratone, Marantz, Marshall, Naim, Pioneer and Sonos.


With AirPlay 2, you can play the same song on multiple speakers throughout the house, move music from one room to another, or play music in any room from any room using an iOS device, HomePod, Apple TV, or Siri voice commands. AirPlay 2 devices are now displayed in the Apple Home app as AirPlay 2 is integrated with HomeKit.

Using AirPlay 2, you can control where music is playing through the Control Center or within apps on an iOS device or ask Siri to play music in any room (or multiple rooms) with an AirPlay 2-enabled device.


HomePod is also gaining support for stereo pairing, which is designed to let two HomePods work in unison.


The iOS 11.4 update also introduces Messages in iCloud, a feature that has been in the works for several months and was first promised as an iOS 11 feature in June of 2017. Messages in iCloud is designed to store your iMessages in iCloud rather than on each individual device, allowing for improved syncing capabilities.


At the current time, incoming iMessages are sent to all of the devices where you're signed in to your Apple ID, but there is no true cross-device syncing. Messages in iCloud will let you download all of your iMessages on new devices, and a message deleted on one device will remove it from all devices, which is not the case right now.

Older messages and attachments are also stored in iCloud rather than on device, saving valuable storage space across all of your Macs, iPhones, and iPads.

For the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, there is a new (PRODUCT)RED wallpaper available, which is not available on iPhone X, and in betas, the iOS 11.4 update included USB Restricted Mode, which may have made it into release.

USB Restricted Mode introduces a week-long expiration date on access to the Lightning port on iOS devices if your phone has not been unlocked, a feature that limits law enforcement access to the iPhone and the iPad using tools like the GrayKey box.

In addition to these features, iOS 11.4 also includes several bug fixes, as outlined in Apple's release notes. Full release notes are below:

iOS 11.4 includes AirPlay 2 multi-room audio, support for HomePod stereo pairs, and Messages in iCloud. This update also includes bug fixes and improvements.

AirPlay 2
- Control your home audio system and AirPlay 2-enabled speakers throughout your house
- Play music at the same time on multiple AirPlay 2-enabled speakers in your house, all in sync
- Control AirPlay 2-enabled speakers from Control Center, the Lock screen, or AirPlay controls within apps on your iPhone or iPad
- Use your voice to control AirPlay 2-enabled speakers with Siri from your iPhone or iPad, HomePod, or Apple TV
- Take a call or play a game on your iPhone or iPad without interrupting playback on your AirPlay 2-enabled speakers

HomePod stereo pair
- This update supports setting up your HomePod stereo pair using your iPhone or iPad
- HomePod pair automatically senses its location in the room and balances the sound based on the speakers' locations
- Advanced beamforming provides wider soundstage than traditional stereo pair
- HomePod will automatically update to support stereo pairs, unless auto updates are disabled in the Home app

Messages in iCloud
- Store your messages, photos, and other attachments in iCloud and free up space on your devices
- All your messages appear when you sign into a new device with the same iMessage account
- When you delete messages and conversations they are instantly removed from all your devices
- To turn on Messages in iCloud, enable Messages in iCloud settings (Settings > [your name] > iCloud)
- Your conversations continue to be end-to-end encrypted

Other improvements and fixes
- Enables teachers to assign their students reading activities in iBooks using the Schoolwork app
- Fixes an issue where certain character sequences could cause Messages to crash
- Addresses a Messages issue that could cause some messages to appear out of order
- Addresses an issue that could prevent logging in or accessing files on Google Drive, Google Docs and Gmail in Safari
- Fixes an issue that could prevent data syncing in Health
- Fixes an issue that could prevent users from changing what apps can access Health data
- Resolves an issue that could cause an app to appear in an incorrect location on the Home screen
- Fixes an issue where CarPlay audio could become distorted
- Fixes an issue where selecting music from your iPhone could fail when playing music over Bluetooth or when connected to USB on some vehicles

iOS 11.4 may be one of the final updates to the iOS 11 operating system, which will be followed by iOS 12. Apple will unveil iOS 12 at the Worldwide Developers Conference next week.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
28 months ago
Previewed at WWDC 2017 and released the week before WWDC 2018. The new Apple.
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
28 months ago

Previewed at WWDC 2017 and released the week before WWDC 2018. The new Apple.

I wonder what we'll see released a week before WWDC 2019?
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
28 months ago

ANybody knows if it fixes all the bugs of 11.3.1 on iPhone 7 ?

Yes. I tested it 10 minutes ago. All of the bugs are gone. For all previous releases and for all devices that use iOS. All the bugs. Gone. Completely bug-less. No bugs. Thank goodness. No more bugs.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
28 months ago

Previewed at WWDC 2017 and released the week before WWDC 2018. The new Apple.

White iPhone 4: Announced by Steve Jobs on June 7, 2010 and released... on April 28, 2011.
MMS for iPhone, announced in March 2009, not available until October of 2009
Mac OS X Leopard, announced at WWDC2005, release target for late 2006, previewed at WWDC2006, announced for a spring 07 release. April 2007, apple announces it will be delayed until the fall. October 26, 2007 and its finally released. Delays are not new
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
28 months ago
Not sure if anyone's realized yet, but on this version of iOS it's actually possible to download and install the update without telling everyone.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
28 months ago
Well, hello one-year-old feature!!!
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Warns Against Closing MacBooks With a Cover Over the Camera

Friday July 10, 2020 11:12 am PDT by
Apple this month published a support document that warns customers against closing their Mac notebooks with a cover over the camera as it can lead to display damage. Image via Reddit Apple says that the clearance between the display and the keyboard is designed to very tight tolerances, which can be problematic. Covering the camera can also cause issues with automatic brightness and True Tone....

Leaker: 'iPhone 12 Pro' to Come With 6GB of RAM

Friday July 10, 2020 1:59 am PDT by
Later this year, Apple is expected to release four OLED iPhones in three display sizes, including 5.4, 6.7, and two 6.1-inch models. Rumors suggest the 6.7-inch iPhone and one 6.1-inch model will be higher-end devices, and now leaker @L0vetodream has corroborated previous rumors about the internal specs of Apple's upcoming lineup. Rumors suggest Apple will use 5-nanometer A14 chips in its...

Apple Moving Forward on Semitransparent Lenses for Upcoming AR Headset

Friday July 10, 2020 7:24 am PDT by
Apple and Foxconn have reached a key milestone in the development of Apple's long-rumored augmented reality headset, with the semitransparent lenses for the device moving from prototype to trial production, reports The Information. Apple is developing the lenses on a single production line at a Foxconn factory in Chengdu in southwestern China, where most of Apple’s iPad production is...

Kuo: Apple Silicon Macs to Include 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air This Year, 14.1-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro Models Next Year

Friday July 10, 2020 2:58 am PDT by
At last month's WWDC, Apple officially announced that its Mac computers will be transitioned from Intel x86 to homegrown Apple Silicon chips. Apple said it plans to deliver the first Apple Silicon Mac by the end of the year and complete the transition in about two years. According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a form factor similar to the current 13.3-inch...

Arm-Intel-PowerPC Universal Binaries Are Possible

Saturday July 11, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
Casual MacRumors visitors may not realize that we have a very active PowerPC forum where users discuss issues related to PowerPC Macs that have not been produced since 2006. Threads range from hardware upgrades and software options to nostalgia: Photo by AphoticD Apple's recently announced transition to Apple Silicon (Arm) based Macs raised some interesting questions about future support...

iPhone 12 Sizes Compared with iPhone SE, 7, 8, SE 2, X, 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max [Update]

Tuesday July 7, 2020 6:49 pm PDT by
Apple is planning on launching the iPhone 12 this fall which is rumored to be coming in 3 different sizes: 5.4", 6.1" and 6.7". The middle size (6.1") matches up with the currently shipping iPhone 11, but the other two sizes will be entirely new. Over the weekend, there was some excitement about how well the new 5.4" iPhone 12 compares to the original iPhone SE. Those who have been hoping...

Tom Hanks WWII Movie 'Greyhound' Debuts on Apple TV+

Friday July 10, 2020 3:33 am PDT by
Apple TV+ today debuted "Greyhound," the highly anticipated Second World War movie starring Tom Hanks as a naval officer given command of Navy destroyer Greyhound in the Battle of the Atlantic. "Greyhound" features Hanks as George Krause, who must fight his own self doubts and personal demons as he leads a convoy of Allied ships against German U-boats to prove that he belongs in command. ...

Top Stories: iOS 14 Public Beta, iPhone 12 Size Comparison, 14-Inch MacBook Pro Rumors

Saturday July 11, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
After one round of developer beta testing, Apple unleashed iOS and iPadOS 14 to a wider audience this week, opening it up to members of the public beta program. There are lots of changes and new features to check out, but as with any beta, be careful about installing it on your main devices. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Other major stories this week included our ...

Hands-On With tvOS 14: Picture in Picture, 4K YouTube, HomeKit and More

Thursday July 9, 2020 12:48 pm PDT by
Apple at WWDC introduced a new version of tvOS, the software that's designed to run on the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models. tvOS updates are often more minor in scale than iOS, watchOS, and macOS updates, but tvOS 14 has some useful new features. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple in tvOS 13 introduced a Picture in Picture option for the Apple TV...

Apple CEO Tim Cook's 2019 Compensation Totaled Over $133 Million

Friday July 10, 2020 12:01 pm PDT by
Apple CEO Tim Cook was the second highest paid CEO in the United States in 2019, according to Bloomberg's list of the highest paid CEOs and executives in 2019. Cook received compensation totaling $133,727,869 by Bloomberg's count. Almost all of Cook's compensation was provided in the form of stock awards and related performance bonuses. As reported by the SEC earlier this year, Cook received ...