Earlier today, Apple released the first developer betas of iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3, including new features such as additional Animoji, Business Chat for iMessage, and more. Hidden in both iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3, however, is support for AirPlay 2.
AirPlay 2 was originally announced as an iOS 11 feature back at WWDC 2017, but Apple has seemingly gone quiet on the feature’s rollout since then. Early evidence of AirPlay 2 emerged in iOS 11.2, but it wasn’t fully functional.
With iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3, however, AirPlay 2 officially supports multi-room playback. This means that you can stream to multiple Apple TVs directly from your iPhone for a full in-home audio experience.
Interestingly, Apple announced that the HomePod would initially ship without multi-room support. It’s unclear at this point whether iOS 11.3’s public release will coincide with multi-room coming to HomePod. Apple has only said that multi-room is coming to HomePod later this year and that it will launch with peer-to-peer AirPlay streaming.
It’s important to note that AirPlay 2 in iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3 is still buggy, which shouldn’t come as a surprise seeing that we’re only on the first beta of the releases. Nevertheless, the functionality is there and we can expect improvements as Apple releases new betas of iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3.
AirPlay 2 marks the first major upgrade for the audio streaming feature since its original introduction 7 years ago. Apple touts that the standard reduces lag and latency. AirPlay 2 speakers also appear in the Home app. Of note, companies like Sonos have said that they will support AirPlay 2 sometime this year, as well.
Keep up with all of the changes in iOS 11.3 right here and the rest of today’s announcements at the links below:
- Apple releases first iOS 11.3 developer beta for iPhone and iPad
- Apple releases first tvOS 11.3 developer beta for Apple TV
- macOS 10.13.4 beta 1 now available for Mac
- Messages in iCloud is back in iOS 11.3 beta 1
- Major changes to macOS Server coming in spring 2018
- Apple releases Swift Playgrounds 2.0 with new robots, subscription feature, and more
- Apple releases Xcode 9.3, includes new battery usage analysis features for developers
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