Apple’s HomePod will soon be available in Canada, France, and Germany

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Apple has stated it will sell its HomePod smart speaker in Canada, France, and Germany from 18 June 2018. The update brings features promised by Apple during the first announcement of iOS 11 at WWDC 2017.

Getting the iOS 11.4 update is simple enough. So if you haven't already, please go ahead and install iOS 11.4 on your iPhone, iPad or iPod right now.

Note that you can play music from Apple Music (or your downloaded music collection) on your iPhone, or tell Siri running on the HomePods to play this song or that.

This means that as long as you have an AirPlay 2-compatible speaker, it can be added to a multi-room setup to rival the existing one-brand systems out there right now. The iOS 11.4 update is around 330 MB is size.

AirPlay 2-ready devices now include the Apple TV set-top box and Apple's HomePod speaker, but third-party speaker makers are expected to update their own devices to support AirPlay 2.

Apple iOS 11 also brings support for storing messages on iCloud along with bug fixes and improvements. Once updated, head into the Home app on your iPhone, select the HomePod you'd like to pair, tap Details and then Create Stereo Pair.

- “Using spatial awareness to sense their location in the room, each HomePod automatically adjusts the audio to sound great wherever it is placed and sound great together, ” said Apple.

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Apple also updated tvOS and watchOS today.

AirPlay is Apple's proprietary standard for streaming audio, video and other content from one device to another - say streaming that video your iPhone is playing to an Apple TV connected to your television set. You can also control the synced speaker directly from the lock screen of iPhones and iPads and also through Siri.

The company released a software release called iOS 11.4 on Tuesday that unlocks more features for the smart speaker.

This isn't a huge update in itself, but the inclusion of Messages on iCloud makes it a noteworthy update.

Like the original AirPlay format, AirPlay 2 will also be built into a range of third-party wireless speakers and amplifiers from the likes of Sonos, Bang & Olufsen, Bose, Pioneer, Denon and Marantz.

Also, some manufacturers, like Naim and Libratone, have confirmed that you'll be able to simply run a software update on the speaker to benefit from the new AirPlay 2 features, but others will need you to buy a completely new speaker.