We're talking about Sonos, of course, and the Sonos One Smart Speaker offers full support for Apple's new AirPlay 2 that was rolled out on Tuesday along with the iOS 11.4 release. Users can say, "Hey Siri, play classical in the living room", and the appropriate audio will play through the AirPlay 2-compatible speakers, but only in the living room. That means one HomePod in a room plays the right-channel content while the second HomePod plays the left-channel content at the same time. But iOS 11.4 sports some long-awaited features like AirPlay 2 and Messages in iCloud.
Apple has also teased support from the likes of Bowers & Wilkins, Bose, Marshall and Pioneer, but it seems that support will be announced later.
The iOS 11.4 update is available today. Best of all, the Sonos One gives you access to Alexa, while the HomePod speaker is stuck with Siri.
The company's answer to the Sonos home audio networking system was supposed to arrive alongside the AirPod speaker in February, but has been absent until the end of May. The iOS 11.4 update is around 330 MB is size.
With two HomePod speakers set up as a stereo pair, Apple's speaker is able to tell where it is placed in a room and adjust the audio profile accordingly, communicating with its twin using a proprietary wireless peer-to-peer link to make sure your music playback is in sync. Multi-room audio also works on a wide variety of third-party speaker devices.
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Have you bought a HomePod speaker yet?
Anyway, as it turns out, there is a much more important feature in iOS 11.4 than AirPlay 2 stereo pairing.
AirPlay, Apple's proprietary wireless streaming protocol, has received a major update in the form of AirPlay 2. As part of that, you'll be able to pair up HomePod speakers for stereo sound. Messages in iCloud stores all iMessages in Apple's cloud storage rather than on each individual device.
For years, Apple has offered AirPlay so that you could instantly share audio or video between your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, an Apple TV, or another AirPlay-enabled device. Scroll down to the list of apps with iCloud support and toggle on Messages.