The AirPlay 2 protocol allows users to group multiple HomePods or other supported speakers together for multi-room audio. However, it seems that Apple has been working on a new way to take the AirPlay 2 speaker grouping feature even further with iOS 16.1 beta.
New feature to group HomePods and AirPlay 2 speakers
As found by 9to5Mac, code from the first beta of iOS 16.1, which was released last week to developers, includes references to a new way to create a group of speakers in the Home app. At this point, details about how the new feature will work are unclear, but some of the strings seen by 9to5Mac give us an idea of how it will work.
Currently, you can group two or more HomePods or supported AirPlay 2 speakers together by choosing them in the AirPlay menu. However, this group of speakers is temporary, which means that eventually you’ll have to select all speakers again if you want to …