The iOS 11.2 Beta 1 has been released and contains over 40 new features and changes. The download is 1.95GB and available for users currently running the previous iOS 11.1 developer beta.
As expected there are a few minor tweaks and performance enhancements dispersed throughout the release, but one of the more obvious additions is the AirPlay 2 multi-room control feature Apple announced back at WWDC 2017.
AirPlay allows users to wirelessly stream content from an iOS device or Mac computer. AirPlay 2 allows users to fill their home or office space with multi-room audio. Additionally, in AirPlay 2, audio buffering has been enhanced on AirPlay 2 speakers, so that content can be played with a higher degree of robustness, reliability, and responsiveness.
The 11.2 beta also introduces 'SiriKit for HomePod' for limited third-party app support. When the HomePod is launched in December, SiriKit will allow developers to use Siri through the smart speaker and send commands to their apps running on iPhones and iPads. However, since the HomePod is not currently available for testing, Apple recommends testing Siri with wireless headphones to analyze functionality. The Apple Homepod, available in December for $349, has been specifically designed to work with AirPlay 2.
Other changes and features included in the 11.2 beta are:
Updated Live Photo effects loading animation.
Double clicking the power button no longer locks the device.
iPhone 8 and iPhone X wallpaper now available on older devices.
Updated camera app icon in Messages.
Square icon in Control Center music controls.
Hover Highlighting in App Store search.
Calculator bug has been fixed to eliminate button press latency.
Notifications setting for the TV app.
Bug that caused screen to flash on boot-up has been patched.
Activate SOS calling by clicking power button five times.
As far as the changes to watchOS and tvOS, we should have more information in the coming days once developers have had the chance to dig into the new features. You can access a full breakdown video of the 11.2 beta below:
Are you excited about the new features in iOS 11 for AirPlay 2 and Apple's new HomePod? Let us know if you plan on test driving the iOS 11.2 beta in the comment section below.