Apple Releases New 11.4 Software for the HomePod Enabling Stereo Support, Multi-Room Audio Through AirPlay 2

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 29, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Alongside iOS 11.4, watchOS 4.3.1, and tvOS 11.4, Apple today released a new 11.4 software update designed for the HomePod, which introduces major new features for Apple's smart speaker.

    This is the second update that's been released for the HomePod since it became available for purchase back in February.


    The new HomePod software will be installed automatically on the HomePod after you update to iOS 11.4, but you can also manually update and check your software version by following the instructions in our HomePod software how to.

    As Apple announced this morning, the new HomePod software, paired with iOS 11.4, introduces support for AirPlay 2 and HomePod stereo pairing.

    AirPlay 2 is an updated AirPlay protocol that's simpler, more advanced, and more robust, enabling multi-room audio capabilities. With AirPlay 2, you can play music in any room to any room, move music from one room to another room, or play the same song in multiple rooms using an iOS device through an app or Control Center, the Apple TV, the HomePod, or Siri voice commands on any of the aforementioned devices.


    AirPlay 2 controls can be accessed within any app and in the Control Center on an iOS device running iOS 11.4. In the Control Center, you will see a list of all of the available AirPlay 2 devices in your home, and you can effortlessly send audio to a single device, to multiple devices, or switch audio between devices.

    The HomePod is the first AirPlay 2 device and one of the only AirPlay 2 devices on the market right now, but Apple plans to allow third-party speakers from companies like Sonos, Bose, Libratone, and more to add support for AirPlay 2.


    Today's update also allows two HomePod speakers to be set up as a stereo pair, which is ideal for larger rooms as the arrangement offers up more room-filling sound. When paired, each HomePod is able to automatically adjust audio to take into account the other HomePod, for excellent sound from each device.

    The HomePods are able to take advantage of the built-in A8 chip in each speaker to play a left or right audio channel while also separating out ambient and direct energy for what Apple says is an almost three dimensional soundstage.

    Stereo pairing uses an Apple-designed wireless peer-to-peer direct link to allow the HomePods to communicate with one another and play music in sync. The two speakers will act as one when paired, and just one will respond to incoming Siri requests.

    Setting up stereo sound is as simple as turning on a second HomePod. Whenever a second device is set up, you'll be prompted to form a stereo pair with a popup interface, with this information also available in the HomePod's settings in the Home app.

    The new HomePod software also introduces one other small but important change -- it will allow users to check calendar appointments on the HomePod using Siri voice commands.

    The HomePod is currently available only in the United States, the UK, and Australia, but Apple will expand availability to Canada, France, and Germany on Monday, June 18. While the HomePod is not launching in Canada, France, and Germany until mid-June, new languages, including Canadian English, French, and German are available on the HomePod starting today and are accessible through the HomePod settings in the Home app on an iOS device.

    Article Link: Apple Releases New 11.4 Software for the HomePod Enabling Stereo Support, Multi-Room Audio Through AirPlay 2
  2. Macwick macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2008
  3. JackieTreehorn macrumors 6502


    May 22, 2005
    I am not seeing it but I did just order a second Homepod :)
  4. killhippie macrumors regular


    Jan 12, 2016
    I was wondering about that.
  5. Attirex macrumors 6502

    Apr 8, 2015
    Lol. Only to appeal to millennials.
  6. iKaushal macrumors 6502


    Jun 7, 2011
    Mumbai, India
    Yeah. I tried searching a dozen times. But not available.
  7. kagharaht macrumors 6502a

    Oct 7, 2007
    10.13.5? Don't see it...jump the gun maybe? Maybe later on since iMessage for the cloud has to work on the Mac also right?
  8. CamiMR macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2012
    So the big question is, has the sound signature changed again?...
  9. KoolAid-Drink macrumors 65816

    Sep 18, 2013
    10.13.5 wasn't released (yet). I wonder if it will be today. The bulk of my messages are on my Mac, dating back to 2014.
  10. Craiger macrumors 6502a


    Jul 11, 2007
    Wow that was a fast update. I'm not at home so I can't play with it though.
  11. dan9700 macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2015
    can confirm the lag on airplay from mac to homepod seems to be better on the homepod, also seems to me bass is stronger like original
  12. ParanoidDroid macrumors 6502


    Sep 15, 2013
    Venusville, Mars
    Any news about AirPort Express ability to utilize AirPlay 2? :(
  13. killhippie macrumors regular


    Jan 12, 2016
    I’m sure macOS 10.13.4 was released later the same day when iOS 11.3 was released.
  14. eggyacid macrumors newbie


    Sep 15, 2010
    Same here, was hoping Airport Express 2nd Gen will be supported :(
  15. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    That's no balancing: "Introducing the new, all-organic iPhone case. No landfill-damaging battery, no metals: just plants, dirt and 99.9% bio-degradable clay. Available now... or soon... or maybe by this time next year for only $349... $549 if you want the pot to be HomeKit-enabled too."

    All ;)
  16. eggyacid macrumors newbie


    Sep 15, 2010
    when asked "Hey Siri, play 90's music everywhere" it will only play on 3 HomePods but not AppleTVs... am I saying it wrong?
  17. MacNewsOverload macrumors newbie


    Nov 22, 2016
    Any confirmation of Beats1 radio playing to multiple locations via AirPlay?
  18. Hanterdro macrumors regular


    Nov 23, 2014
    Is there some trick that the Apple TV shows in the Home App?
  19. n-ick macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2018
    Big improvement with the HP when in stereo mode.
  20. Jamie0003 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 17, 2009
    Norfolk, UK
    Excellent, Apple just sold two more Homepods, although there's still something missing that would seal the deal for me: being able to control the Apple TV via Siri on the HomePod. I know this is possible via airplay but I have a sound system in my living room, and want to be able to pause the TV show or whatever I'm watching when I get a phonecall for example.
  21. spazzcat macrumors 68020


    Jun 29, 2007
    Did you update phone and ATV?
  22. jackietreeh0rn macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2018
    This is what I'm interested to know, too.
  23. zaneliu macrumors 6502


    Jan 27, 2013
    Speed has definitely improved like 2x on AirPlay 2 from iPhone. Now I'd like to see AirPlay 2 make its way to my Mac iTunes as well
  24. ersan191 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2013
    Can confirm it works fine
  25. Fozziebear71 macrumors 6502


    Sep 23, 2014
    I've been waiting. Looks like I will be ordering several Homepods now.

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