iOS 11.4, tvOS 11.4, HomePod 11.4, and watchOS 4.3.1 Finally Debut AirPlay 2 and Messages in iCloud

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Apple has released a slew of updates for all of its non-Mac devices, adding the long-promised AirPlay 2 and Messages in iCloud.

I’ve seen instructions, including on Apple’s site, on how to turn on iMessages in iCloud on the mac, but when I go to the Messages app preferences, the checkbox isn’t there under the iCloud account.

Anybody have any ideas?

iMessage in iCloud for the Mac requires 10.3.5, which hasn’t been released yet.

In fact, they’re going through another beta for the Mac. The developer release for 10.3.6 was just released today. So we have a little longer to wait.

Why in the world are all the websites telling you “how to do it” then? Including Apple’s support site. Such a waste of time. No mention anywhere of the OS minimum.

There was every indication that macOS was supposed to be updated late yesterday or today. Something unexpected must have delayed things

Yeah, something goofy is going on. The tech news sites announced iOS 11.4 hours before it was released and there are all sorts of how-tos for turning on Messages in iCloud for macOS 10.3.5. And like Steve said, they’ve released the beta for 10.13.6 before releasing 10.13.5. My guess is with so many Apple employees tied up with WWDC preparation, things aren’t going as smoothly as usual.

A reader pointed out that Messages in iCloud can actually save you iCloud storage space since iCloud will no longer back up your messages, and I’ve updated the article to reflect this. Of course, if you don’t use iCloud backup or if you disable Messages backup it’ll use more iCloud space than before.

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It looks like Airplay 2 has messed up Airplay from a Mac in you have set up a stereo HomePod pair. On a Mac, the cluster doesn’t show up, but the individual HomePods still do. If you direct your audio to one of them, it is the only one that plays it. If you try to direct it to both of them, one of them shows an error. Who knows if this will be fixed in MaOS 10.13.6.

Alan Forkosh Oakland, CA

I just upgraded to Mac OS 10.13.5. The computer still cannot recognize a HomePod stereo pair. It shows both speakers independently and you can choose one of the HomePods for Airplay (note that Mac Airplay has always allowed multiple outputs). However, if you also select the other speaker, the first speaker now shows an error and stops playing.

@jtbayly I too wondered about messages in iCloud on Mac, but if you looked at the images on Apple’s support articles, it seemed clear that the settings shown didn’t match 10.13.4’s messages preferences.

@jcenters: It would be nice if Apple upped the free iCloud storage and/or the paid tiers. (I don’t know why I can’t help but say this – sigh)

I have seen references to Homekit now being able to set scenes to start music on the Homepod but haven’t found a way to do this. Will Josh be adding this to his excellent Take Control of Homekit guide?

Regarding the statement “As always, we recommend holding off on installing any major updates until you’ve backed up your devices and waited a few days to see what, if any, unwelcome repercussions they may bring.”

I’m still on OS10 for my iPads,  Watch, and  TV because EVERY update has bugs. The only reason my iPhone 10 has iOS 11.2.1 is because that is what was on it when I bought it.

All of a sudden I can’t enter a CAPTCHA code correctly or get the CAPTCHA audio to work.
I’ve tried Safari, Chrome and Firefox on different websites using CAPTCHA and they don’t work
I’m running Sierra, latest version on a 2015 MacBook Pro.

Any ideas?


Does anyone know if Messages in iCloud fixes group messages getting split into multiple threads?

Sometimes group messages get split up amongst multiple separate threads on my phone, or show up in one thread in my phone but separate threads on my computer. I’m curious if the improved iCloud syncing fixes this

I’m also wondering how messages in iCloud deals with merging conflicting histories from different devices when you first enable it.