The second beta of iOS 11.4 has arrived for testers running their iPhones, bringing several bug fixes along with the new Messages in iCloud. The beta is only available to those who have registered their devices in the Apple beta program with the official release of the new version expected to be late in May or early June.
The big new feature in this build is Messages in iCloud which returns to the beta program. It originally showed up in the 11.3 beta program but was dropped and not released as part of that update. It appears that Apple has been doing their homework and will allow users to enable it. This will allow for new messages to be sync’d to your iCloud account along with photos and videos which will save space on your iPhone.
This new beta also addresses several issues with streaming playback via AirPlay and if you are using with tvOS 11.4, AirPlay 2 has also returned to this beta. If you are running the HomePod beta firmware, stereo support has returned to this beta too, so long as you happen to have two HomePods around.
Finally, if you are running the iOS 11.4 beta on your iPhone 8 or 8 Plus, you now will have the new (Product) RED wallpaper that comes with the recently announced variants of that phone.
While there will be some new features in 11.4, it is mostly a polishing and fixing exercise for the Apple team. Having your messages sync to iCloud though is a big feature that many have been wanting to see since it was teased last year at WWDC. It looks like it is finally going to get to everyone in this update.