Apple on Tuesday updated its mobile software to . Along with , this release also marks the official launch of .
AirPlay 2 is the latest version of Apple's audio streaming system. AirPlay already allows music, podcasts and other audio to stream to the additional AirPlay-compatible devices., and
This next-gen iteration adds two features we've been anticipating since: multiroom audio and stereo sound.
Multiroom audio means that you should be able to play the same audio on multiple HomePods or Apple TVs at the same time.
Stereo sound enables you to set up two HomePods next to one other in the same room to improve the single HomePod's already-stellar sound quality.
In addition to controlling AirPlay from your Siri to play your favorite party mix on more than one speaker.or 's Control Center, you should also be able to enlist
I saw a hint of this when I tested out the, but it was limited to Apple TVs. Even so, asking Siri to "play Bob Dylan in the gym and in the kitchen" worked during my preliminary testing of the TVOS beta.
AirPlay 2 is a necessary step for Apple to stay competitive in the smart home, but we've been waiting for its release for a year now. Both and smart speakers already offer multiroom audio. The , one of the HomePod's high-end competitors, already supports stereo pairing.
Another potential setback for Apple is that the HomePod -- at $349 per speaker -- is prohibitively expensive for many people. That's compounded by the fact that both this Bloomberg report claims.and offer $50 entry-level smart speakers. We haven't heard any updates on the , but it might be a good idea if as
We'd also like to see an update that improves Siri as a digital assistant to better compete with Alexa and Google Assistant. Apple is still far behind Amazon and Google in terms of smart home device partnerships, too.
I'm taking a fresh look at thenow that AirPlay 2 is out, so be sure to for the latest on all things related to Apple's Siri smart speaker.