Roku Has Nearly Finalized AirPlay 2 Support

MacRumors last month reported that Roku was in talks with Apple about supporting AirPlay 2, and we've since learned that the negotiations are nearly finalized, according to a source familiar with the matter.


AirPlay 2 integration is expected to arrive in the form of a Roku OS software update for Roku media players, but it's unclear if all models will be supported. AirPlay 2 will also be supported by Roku-based smart TVs, available from brands such as TCL, Sharp, Hisense, Hitachi, Sanyo, and RCA.

Back in January, Apple announced that select AirPlay 2-enabled smart TVs are coming from leading brands such as Samsung, LG, Vizio, and Sony. AirPlay 2 support on Roku will greatly expand Apple's wireless streaming protocol to virtually any smart TV with a Roku player plugged into the HDMI port.

AirPlay 2 will enable Roku users to stream video, audio, photos, and other content directly from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac to their smart TVs.

Apple and Roku are negotiating a launch date and marketing surrounding AirPlay 2. Roku has yet to publicly confirm the plans, with a spokesperson earlier indicating that "we don't have anything to share regarding this now."


This article, "Roku Has Nearly Finalized AirPlay 2 Support" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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CES 2019: Sony’s Upcoming 4K and 8K TVs to Support AirPlay 2 and HomeKit

Starting later this year, Sony's new 2019 Z9G Series 8K LCDs, A9G Series OLED 4K TVs, and X950G 4K LCD TVs will support Airplay 2 and HomeKit protocols from Apple.

Other TV manufacturers, including Samsung, Vizio, and LG have also announced support for HomeKit and AirPlay 2 for their 2019 smart TV lineups. All of the major TV brands will support both, with the exception of Samsung. Samsung TVs support AirPlay 2 and will have an exclusive app for accessing iTunes content, but won't work with HomeKit.


With AirPlay 2 support, compatible Sony television sets will be able to stream videos, music, photos, and more right from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, and multi-room audio across multiple AirPlay 2 devices will also be available.

Content AirPlayed on Sony television sets will be able to be controlled using the Lock screen widget or the Control Center of an iOS device. Users will be able to play, pause, fast-forward, rewind, and adjust volume on the TV when AirPlaying TVs, movies, and music.

With HomeKit and Siri integration, users will be able to control their TVs via Siri voice commands, using voice requests to do things like play specific TV shows on a specific television. The TVs will be present in the Home app, so Siri controls will also be available for doing things like turning on the TV or including the TV in a HomeKit scene.

Sony's television sets run an Android-based operating system with built-in Cast support from Google, which means users will be able to choose between using Google and Apple services.

AirPlay-compatible Sony television sets include the newly announced Z9G 8K TVs available in 98 and 85 inch sizes, the new A9G 4K OLED TVs available in 77, 65, and 55 inch options, and the new X950G 4K LCD TVs available in 55, 65, 75 and 85 inch sizes, all of which are set to launch in spring 2019. Sony says that AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support will launch for these TV sets "later this year."

Apple has added new details about the upcoming smart television integrations on its AirPlay website for those who want more information about its upcoming partnerships with TV manufacturers.


This article, "CES 2019: Sony's Upcoming 4K and 8K TVs to Support AirPlay 2 and HomeKit" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Sonos One, Playbase, and Play:5 Will Support AirPlay 2 Functionality

When Sonos introduced the new Sonos One back in October, the company confirmed it would add AirPlay 2 support to Sonos speakers later in 2018.

At the time, Sonos did not specify which of its devices would support the new protocol, but Sonos appears to have offered some clarification in the form of new details provided to Mac Observer.


Mac Observer says native AirPlay 2 support will be available on the Playbase, the newest version of the Play:5, and the Sonos One.

Older Sonos speakers will not support AirPlay 2 on their own, but they can be paired with the Playbase, the Play:5, or the Sonos One to enable AirPlay 2 functionality. A Sonos Play:1 grouped with a Sonos One, for example, will support AirPlay 2.
Since we all like things to be simple, here's the easy test to remember: if your Sonos has touch controls, it natively supports AirPlay 2. If your Sonos is old enough to have buttons, it only supports AirPlay 2 in a group.
Apple thus far has not released AirPlay 2, despite the fact that it was first introduced as a feature of iOS 11 back in June of 2017. AirPlay 2 functionality was initially included in iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3 betas, but it was pulled ahead of the release of those updates.

AirPlay 2 functionality is now included in iOS 11.4 and tvOS 11.4, but it is not yet clear if the features will be included in the final version of the software.

Related Roundup: iOS 11
Tags: AirPlay, Sonos

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iOS 11.3 Release Notes Appear to Have Leaked With No Mention of Messages on iCloud or AirPlay 2

French developer Pierre Blazquez today shared what he claims are the final iOS 11.3 release notes, supposedly obtained from Apple's servers. His tweet contains images of the release notes in English for the United States.

Apple blog Mac4Ever shared the release notes in French, which we've translated and embedded below in English.

While there aren't too many surprises, it's worth noting that Messages on iCloud is not listed, despite being enabled in the latest iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4 betas. Apple did say the feature is included in the betas "for testing and evaluation purposes," so it was never entirely clear if it would be ready for the final release.


AirPlay 2 is also not listed, although the protocol was removed from the later beta versions of iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3. Messages on iCloud and AirPlay 2 were also not listed in macOS 10.13.4 release notes leaked last week.

Beyond that, the release notes seemingly confirm Apple's new Battery Health feature on iPhones will still be considered a beta feature in the iOS 11.3 public release, Advanced Mobile Location support where available, App Store review sorting, and improved charging management for always-plugged-in iPads.

As expected, there are also new accessibility features, a wide range of stability improvements and bug fixes, and other enhancements:

Augmented Reality
  • ARKit 1.5 allows developers to place virtual objects on vertical surfaces like walls and doors in addition to horizontal surfaces
  • Adds support for detecting and incorporating images like movie posters or artwork into AR experiences
  • Supports a higher resolution real-world camera view when using AR experiences

iPhone Battery Health (Beta)
  • Displays information on iPhone maximum battery capacity and peak performance capability
  • Indicates if the performance management feature that dynamically manages maximum performance to prevent unexpected shutdowns is on and includes the option to disable it
  • Recommends if a battery needs to be replaced
  • For more information on batteries and performance, visit this website: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208387

iPad charge management
  • Maintains battery status when the iPad is plugged in for extended periods of time, such as when used in a kiosk or point-of-sale system, or stored in a charging cart.

Animoji
  • Four new Animoji available on the iPhone X: lion, bear, dragon and skull.

Privacy
  • When an Apple feature asks to use your personal information, an icon now appears with a link to access detailed information about how your data will be used and protected.

Business Chat (Beta) — US Only
  • Communicate with companies to easily ask questions, schedule appointments, and make purchases inside the built-in Messages app on iPhone and iPad

Health Records (Beta) — US Only
  • Access health records and view lab results, immunizations, and more in a consolidated timeline in the Health app

Apple Music
  • Provides a new experience in video clips, including a Revised Video Clips section featuring exclusive video playlists.
  • Find friends with similar tastes through Apple Music's improved suggestions, which list the genres that the users and mutual friends follow.

News
  • The main titles now always appear first in "For You."
  • Watch the best videos selected by News editors.

App Store
  • Four options now allow you to sort the customer reviews on the product pages: the most useful, the most favorable, the most critical or the most recent.
  • The Updates tab now shows the version of the app and the size of the file.

Safari
  • Promotes the protection of privacy by notifying usernames and passwords until they have been selected in a web form field.
  • Presents warnings in the smart search field when the user interacts with password entry forms or credit card data on unencrypted web pages.
  • Automatic filling of usernames and passwords is now available in apps' web views.
  • By default, articles shared via Mail from Safari are now formatted using Reader mode, if the drive is available.
  • In Favorites, folders now have icons for the bookmarks they contain.

Keyboards
  • Adds two Shuangpin keyboard layouts.
  • Supports connected physical keyboards using Turkish F layout.
  • Improves Chinese and Japanese keyboards for better accessibility on devices with a 4.7-inch or 5.5-inch screen.
  • Allows you to return to the keyboard with a simple touch after the dictation.
  • Fixes a problem that could cause the capitalization of the first letter of some words by the automatic correction feature.
  • Fixes an issue on the iPad Pro that prevented the iPad Smart Keyboard from working after connecting to a captive Wi-Fi hotspot.
  • Fixes a problem that could cause undesirable activation of the digital layout on the Thai keyboard in landscape mode.

Accessibility
  • The App Store now supports accessibility options "Bold Text" and "Large Font" for customizing the display.
  • Smart Reversal now supports images on the web and in Mail messages.
  • Enhances the RTT experience and supports RTT service for T-Mobile.
  • Improves app selection on the iPad for VoiceOver users and selection control.
  • Corrects a problem with the incorrect description of the Bluetooth status icon and the Bluetooth icon by VoiceOver.
  • Fixes a problem that may prevent the end of call button from appearing in the Phone app when using VoiceOver.
  • Fixes an issue preventing access to an app's built-in ranking with VoiceOver.
  • Fixes a problem that may cause distorted audio playback when using real-time listening.

Other Enhancements and Fixes
  • Supports AML technology, which provides more accurate location data to emergency services during an emergency call (in countries where this technology is available).
  • Supports software authentication, which provides developers with a new way to create and activate HomeKit-compatible accessories.
  • Podcasts now plays episodes with a single tap, and you can tap Details to learn more about each one.
  • Improves search performance for users with long notes in Contacts.
  • Improves the performance of Handoff and the universal clipboard when both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  • Fixes a problem that may prevent incoming calls from activating the screen.
  • Fixes a problem that may prevent or prevent voicemail playback.
  • Fixes an issue that prevents opening a web link in Messages.
  • Fixes a problem that may prevent users from returning to Mail after previewing an attachment to a message.
  • Fixes a problem that could cause the deleted screen to reappear on the locked screen.
  • Fixes a problem that can cause the time and notifications to disappear on the locked screen.
  • Fixes an issue that prevents parents from using Face ID for approving purchase authorization requests.
  • Fixes a problem that could prevent updating of the current weather conditions in Weather.
  • Fixes a problem that could prevent the synchronization of contacts with a vehicle directory when connected via Bluetooth.
  • Fixes a problem that may prevent an audio app from playing content in a vehicle while it was in the background.
iOS 11.3 remains in beta testing, but a public release appears to be imminent, as the software update was seeded for the new iPad yesterday.

Apple recently confirmed that there will be an iOS 11.4 software update, perhaps including Messages on iCloud and AirPlay 2.

Related Roundup: iOS 11

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Apple Confirms HomePod’s Supported Audio Sources in Tech Specs

Apple today updated its HomePod tech specs page with a new Audio Sources section that lists all of the ways in which the speaker can stream audio, setting the record straight on some conflicting information.


Apple Music: HomePod users can ask Siri to play any of over 45 million songs available on Apple Music. A subscription is required.

iTunes Music: HomePod users can ask Siri to play any songs, albums, or audiobooks purchased from the iTunes Store.

iCloud Music Library: HomePod users can ask Siri to play any songs uploaded to a user's iCloud Music Library, including songs imported from other sources such as CDs, with an Apple Music or iTunes Match subscription.

Beats 1: HomePod users can ask Siri to play Apple's official radio station.

Podcasts: HomePod users can ask Siri to play any podcast episodes from the iTunes podcast directory.

AirPlay: HomePod users can use AirPlay to play other audio from an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, and Mac. AirPlay 2, coming later this year, is only required to stream audio from these sources to multiple HomePods.

Earlier this week, iMore's Serenity Caldwell put together a useful breakdown with more detailed information about how the HomePod works with Apple Music, iTunes Match, iCloud Music Library, AirPlay, and more.

HomePod orders began last week ahead of the speaker's official launch on February 9 in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.

Related Roundup: HomePod

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Sonos Rivals HomePod With New Assistant Speaker, Adding AirPlay 2 Support to Speakers Next Year

Sonos today introduced the Sonos One, an all-new smart speaker with six far-field microphones that allow it to work with digital assistants.


Sonos One can be controlled entirely with voice. At launch, it will support Amazon Alexa in the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom, including full voice support for Prime Music, iHeartRadio, Pandora, SiriusXM, and TuneIn. Alexa voice control for Spotify will be coming soon after launch.

Google Assistant support will be added in 2018, making the Sonos One the first smart speaker with support for multiple major assistants.

Sonos One can play music from more than 80 streaming services, including popular ones like Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play Music, Tidal, and Pandora. In addition, it supports other traditional Alexa capabilities related to the weather, timers, news and traffic reports, the latest sports scores, and more.


Sonos is releasing a free software update today that will enable many of its existing speakers to be controlled with Alexa as well. In the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom, Sonos owners can use any Alexa-enabled device like the Echo or Echo Dot to control the speaker with voice commands.

Sonos also announced that it will begin supporting Apple's AirPlay 2 in 2018, making it possible to play any sound from an iOS device on Sonos speakers. Apple users will also be able to control music on Sonos speakers with any Siri-enabled device, such as an iPhone, iPad, and the HomePod once it launches.

Sonos One comes in black or white, weighs four pounds, and has an illuminated LED indicator light to ensure you are always aware when the speaker's microphone is active. The speaker connects to a home's Wi-Fi network, and it also has one 10/100 Mbps Ethernet port for those who prefer a wired connection.

The speaker features premium audio quality, with two Class-D digital amplifiers tuned to match the speaker drivers and acoustic architecture, one tweeter, one mid-woofer, adjustable bass and treble controls, and a six far-field microphone array used for advanced beamforming and echo cancellation.

Sonos One will be available starting Tuesday, October 24 for $199 in the United States. Pre-orders start today.

Tags: AirPlay, Sonos

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