Apple on Tuesday released the first beta of its upcoming macOS Big Sur 11.3 update to developers for testing. In addition to the other features of the new update is a new option to set a pair of stereo-paired HomePods as its default sound output option.
While current versions of macOS can use a stereo pair of HomePods in the Music app or for AirPlay, but they are required to be manually selected through the AirPlay interface.
However, as discovered by 9to5Mac, the new macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta displays the HomePod stereo pair as a single output option in place of displaying each HomePod as a separate device. Selecting a paired set of HomePods as an audio option plays back content in stereo by default.
9to5Mac reports the feature is not yet working consistently, so Apple still has some work to do to perfect the feature. The publication reports using paired HomePods works for music and videos in apps, but system sounds continue to play on your Mac’s built-in speakers.
The macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta brings several other new features.
macOS Big Sur 11.3 brings new customization options for Safari. It also includes a new iPhone and iPad apps preference pane for keyboard touch alternatives for the apps.
New sorting options are now available in the Reminders app along with options to print. Apple Music has been updated with a “Made for You” shortcut and now includes a live events option in the “Listen Now” section. Apple News includes an updated News+ tab that includes a “For You” section, as well as an improved browsing feature.
The beta also adds support for PlayStation 5 DualSense and Xbox Series X/S controllers for use with macOS games.