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Apple has finally released the latest version of its iOS operating system for its iPhone and iPad. Yes, the iOS 11.4 is officially made available to the public. The company has added support for Messages in iCloud, along with many other features. The update includes the AirPlay 2 update which will allow two HomePod speakers to work together like a stereo pair.
The company has first announced the messages in iCloud a year ago at WWDC 2017. It is a way to keep the conversations up-to-date across all the Apple devices like iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac. With this feature, you need not have to take backup of message conversations every time you change a device.
Messages took a lot of local storage of the device, especially when it comes to photos and attachments. Sometime to acquire even gigabytes of storage. Thanks to this feature everything will be saved to iCloud including attachments, which will free up the local storage space.
For security purpose, Apple has made the messages end-to-end encrypted. The messages will be protected by a device passcode which only the device owner will know. It's difficult for anyone to access or read the data. The Messages in iCloud feature had first debuted in early betas of iOS 11 last summer but was later company decided to pull it before the iOS public release.
Airplay 2 is also among one of the most anticipated features that the users have been waiting for. The new feature for Apple HomePod makes it more useful for the users. The Airplay 2 brings multi-room audio support, which implies that multiple devices which are supporting this feature can be used for playing same music across a user's home.
The most important improvement with the update is the "Black Dot" Unicode bug which was reported for the crashing apps on iOS devices with a specific character sequence involving certain emojis. The release of iOS 11.4 has addressed the bug, now the sequence of characters will no longer cause apps like Messages to crash.
Apple also claims that the update also successfully fixes an issue which was causing iMessages to appear out of order on some devices. It was a frustrating bug that's been around for quite some time and the bug has received a ton of complaints on the Apple help forum.
According to Mac Rumors, there are several additional bug fixes included in iOS 11.4, as outlined below in Apple's release notes:
- 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.
- 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.