Hands on with iOS 11.4 beta 2

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iPhone X Product Red Wallpaper
iOS 11.4 beta 2 adds an awesome new wallpaper along with other changes.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple fixed a few bugs and added a great new wallpaper in iOS 11.4 beta 2, but it also removed at least one highly anticipated feature. Check out our video below to see everything that’s new in the latest version of iOS.

What’s new in iOS 11.4 beta 2

The marquee features of iOS 11.4 so far are AirPlay 2, Messages on iCloud and ClassKit.

AirPlay 2 lets you stream the same audio to HomePod and Apple TV and should enable you to play music in stereo with two HomePods, if Apple can get that worked out. Messages on iCloud saves you space on your iOS devices by stashing your texts in the cloud. The ClassKit framework, which Apple unveiled at its educational event last month, gives developers powerful new tools for creating school apps.

Apple continues to tinker away at these new features in the second iOS 11.4 beta. Here’s a list of new iOS features and bug fixes we found in the latest version, which Apple released Monday to developers:

  • AirPlay streaming fixes for an audio lag when streaming video from the YouTube app. Also an audio/video fix for using AirPlay from YouTube to an Apple TV.
  • Shared web credentials API fix within Keychain.
  • Music playback fix. Beta 1 caused pauses at the end of the first track in a list.
  • Removal of HomePod stereo pairing option.
  • (PRODUCT)RED iPhone wallpaper for iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.

What’s missing in iOS 11.4 beta 2

It’s great to get new some features, but it’s a shame to see the removal of others.

In iOS 11.4 beta 2, we lost the HomePod stereo pairing option within the Home app. For me, it’s easily the feature I’m anticipating the most. While it didn’t work in iOS 11.4 beta 1, thanks to the lack of a HomePod beta to support it, its presence gave me hope that Apple would start pushing out the feature in iOS 11.4 beta 2. I guess we’ll just have to pin our hopes on iOS 11.4 beta 3.

If you’d like to get the new (PRODUCT)RED wallpaper on your iPhone, you can grab it from my Twitter here. The wallpaper looks great on any phone!

Or if you’d like to try out the betas for yourself, you can enroll your iPhone, iPod or iPad into Apple’s Public Beta Program.

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