This week’s top stories: iOS 11.4, new HomePod features, last minute WWDC rumors, more

In this week’s top stories: WWDC details ahead of next week’s keynote, Apple releases iOS 11.4 with new HomePod features, we dig up a new Apple Watch face, and more. Read on for all of this week’s biggest stories…

Headlining the news this week was the release of iOS 11.4. The update brings several long-awaited features to Apple devices, including Messages in iCloud, and new HomePod features. For HomePod users, the update includes stereo pairing support, as well as multi-room audio. Apple also released watchOS 4.3.1, macOS 10.13.5, and tvOS 11.4.

Next week is WWDC, which this week brought several last-minute reports on what Apple could announce at the event.

Bloomberg reported on Thursday that Apple will not introduce new MacBooks and iPads at WWDC. Instead, those devices will come later this year. Additionally, the report said that Apple is planning a new Apple Watch design for later this year, noting that the same bands that work with the current Apple Watch will work with the refreshed model.

On Friday, Reuters reported that Apple will upgrade ARKit with the ability for two users to see the same virtual object in space.

Apple next week will debut tools to let two iPhone users share augmented reality. The goal is for two users to see the same virtual object in the same space via their individual devices. The approach, which has not been previously reported, differs from Google’s, which requires scans of a player’s environment to be sent to, and stored in, the cloud.

Meanwhile, 9to5Mac uncovered a new watch face coming to Apple Watch users next week. Inspired by the Pride rainbow flag, this watch face will officially go live on Monday for all users. Check it out in action right here.

These and the rest of this week’s top stories below…

  • iOS 12 will reportedly include new NFC features, enable iPhones to become secure hotel room keys
  • iOS 11.4 with AirPlay 2, Messages in iCloud, HomePod stereo now available
  • Messages in iCloud arrives with iOS 11.4, here’s how it works
  • How iOS 12 could revamp the lock screen with shortcuts, always-on mode, more
  • Apple releases first iOS 11.4.1 developer beta
  • macOS 10.13.5 now available for Mac, includes Messages in iCloud 
  • Following rejection, Phil Schiller says Apple is working with Valve to bring Steam Link to iOS
  • Major Philips Hue update brings 30 new scenes, shortcuts and reboots photo feature
  • Apple’s WWDC app for iOS updated ahead of next week’s event, includes new stickers
  • iOS 12 will upgrade ARKit with ability for two iPhones to see same virtual object
  • tvOS 11.4 now available for Apple TV, turns connected speakers into AirPlay 2 targets
  • This week Benjamin and Zac talk Apple Watch workout tracking, Apple’s new privacy portal in the EU, Apple Watch’s hidden Pride watch face, HomePod gaining calendar, stereo, and AirPlay 2 support, and macOS 10.14 wish list items.

    9to5Mac Happy Hour is available on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play Music, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

    Listen to a recap of the top stories of the day from 9to5Mac. 9to5Mac Daily is available on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

    Making The Grade is a weekly series from Bradley Chambers covering Apple in education. Bradley has been managing Apple devices in an education environment since 2009. Through his experience deploying and managing 100s of Macs and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple’s products work at scale, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for students.

    Featured in top image: Dell 38-inch UltraSharp Curved Monitors, Grovemade’s Desk Shelf System, Nixie Tube Clock, Apogee Quartet, KRK VXT6 Studio Monitor speakers, Classicbot Classic Vintage Mac Toy. Read about the setup over on 9to5Toys as part of the ‘Behind the Screens’ series. 


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