Looks like multi-room AirPlay just got further away

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HomePod speaker
Multi-room audio won't be coming anytime soon.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

One of the best features for Apple’s new HomePod appears to be facing some big delays.

AirPlay 2.0 promises to give HomePod users the ability to stream the same song to different devices in different rooms from a single iPhone. But with the release of iOS 11.3 beta 3 this morning, Apple has decided to pull the feature from testing.

The functionality of AirPlay 2.0 was pretty buggy in the first two beta builds of iOS 11.3. Apple removed it in the latest betas of iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3 that came out today. There’s no word on if the feature will make it into future builds of iOS 11.3 before it is released to the public in the next few weeks.

HomePod owners will be especially disappointed by AirPlay 2.0’s delay. Until AirPlay 2.0 comes out, you won’t be able to pair two of Apple’s new smart speakers together so they play stereo sound or multi-room audio.

AirPlay 2.0 also works with the Apple TV. The feature can be used to play audio through your TV, HomePod and other AirPlay devices all at once. Third-party speakers are also allowed to take advantage of AirPlay 2.0.

Apple never gave an exact release date on AirPlay 2.0, but it is listed among the major selling features of the HomePod. The company has only said that the feature will be available “later this year.”