iOS 11.4 Public Beta 1: Here's what's new

Now that iOS 11.3 is out, Apple is pushing iOS 11.4 to beta testers.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Video: Apple knows iOS has deteriorated, but it plans to fix that

The first public beta for iOS 11.4 has landed, and here's what it contains.

Interestingly, the two main features in iOS 11.4 public beta 1 are features that were dropped from the iOS 11.3 release.

Must read: iOS 11.3: Should you install it now or wait?

First up, there's Messages in Cloud, a feature that synchronizes messages between devices across multiple devices. Delete a message on one device, and it's gone on all the others. While newer messages will be stored on the device, older messages will be offloaded to iCloud to save on storage space.

Another feature that makes a return is AirPlay 2.

iOS 11.4 Public Beta 1 (Image: ZDNet/Apple)

AirPlay 2 is an update to the AirPlay wireless standard that Apple has been using since 2010. The new update adds multi-room audio, HomeKit integration, and a raft of other audio-related improvements. AirPlay 2 debuted almost a year ago at WWDC 2017, and while it was present in early betas of iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3, it was later removed.

Also in the iOS 11.4 public beta is the HomePod stereo pairing, but since this requires a yet-to-be-released HomePod update, there's no way to test it.

Read also: Apple HomePod review: Leaves a stain but not a strong impression

Also, the release includes support for Apple's new ClassKit framework, allowing developers to add support for the upcoming Schoolwork app to their own apps.

If you want access to the public beta, you need to sign up. You can do that here. Before you go any further, you might want to look at my list of precautions and caveats related to running beta software on your iPhone. While you can easily roll back from running the beta, it's possible for the beta to cause havoc in the meantime.

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