iOS 11.3 re­leased

No­tably ab­sent from this re­lease are Mes­sages in iCloud and Air­Play 2, re­veals Ja­son Cross

iPad&iPhone user - - CONTENTS -

iOS 11.3 has been re­leased. First pre­viewed by Ap­ple in Jan­uary, the re­lease has gone through six beta re­leases, over which many of the fea­tures have ap­peared and dis­ap­peared. It is avail­able for iPhone, iPad, and Home­Pod, and is ac­com­pa­nied by up­dates for Ap­ple’s other de­vices: tvOS 11.3 for Ap­ple TV and WatchOS 4.3 for Ap­ple Watch.

No­tably ab­sent from this re­lease is Air­Play 2, which will surely dis­ap­point all the Home­Pod early adopters. Also miss­ing is Mes­sages in iCloud, first promised for

iOS 11 back at WWDC back in June 2017. The feature was avail­able in the lat­est beta, but has been re­moved from the fi­nal 11.3 re­lease.

What’s in iOS 11.3? Bat­tery and Per­for­mance (beta)

As promised, Ap­ple has brought much-needed power man­age­ment to the bat­tery set­tings in iOS 11.3. Users can see their over­all bat­tery health, and your phone will rec­om­mend if it needs to be ser­viced. You will also be told if your bat­tery is trig­ger­ing a chip slow­down, and you can choose to turn that feature off. The switch will only be avail­able for iPhone 6, 6 Plus, SE, 6s, 6s Plus, 7 and 7 Plus.

Head to Set­tings > Bat­tery > Bat­tery Health (Beta) and you will see the peak ca­pac­ity (rel­a­tive to a brand­new bat­tery) and whether or not your phone is ca­pa­ble of sus­tain­ing peak per­for­mance. If your older iPhone is sub­ject to slow­ing down be­cause the bat­tery can no longer de­liver the nec­es­sary peak volt­age for full per­for­mance, this is where you would see it. This is also where you would dis­able such throt­tling.

ARKit 1.5

Ap­ple is also rais­ing its AR game with ARKit 1.5, bring­ing “even more im­mer­sive AR ex­pe­ri­ences that bet­ter in­te­grate with the world and giv­ing them the tools to power a new gen­er­a­tion of AR apps”. The new ARKit will be able to rec­og­nize and place vir­tual ob­jects on ver­ti­cal sur­faces such as walls and doors, as well as map non-square sur­faces such as cir­cu­lar ta­bles. The real-time video view on your screen gets a big boost in

res­o­lu­tion, too. Tim Cook has been a huge pro­po­nent of AR, and told the Fi­nan­cial Post that “AR is the most pro­found tech­nol­ogy of the fu­ture. It am­pli­fies hu­man per­for­mance. It am­pli­fies hu­mans, not sub­sti­tutes, and doesn’t isolate. I’m a huge be­liever in it”.


iPhone X users will also get four new An­i­moji to play with: a lion (see above), bear, dragon, and skull.

Sa­fari 11.1

iOS 11.3 (and macOS 10.13.4) ship with Sa­fari 11.1. The new ver­sion sports a num­ber of new fea­tures, in­clud­ing: Ser­vice Work­ers: Im­ple­ment back­ground scripts for off­line web ap­pli­ca­tions and faster web pages.

Pay­ment Re­quest: Pro­vide a con­sis­tent user pay­ment ex­pe­ri­ence in Sa­fari us­ing a stan­dard­s­based API. Se­cu­rity Im­prove­ments: Im­proved pro­tec­tion against mem­ory cor­rup­tion and code ex­e­cu­tion at­tacks. Web In­spec­tor Up­dates: New de­signs for the Net­work Tab and the Styles side­bar in the El­e­ments Tab.

Users can ex­pect bet­ter pass­word aut­ofill (in­clud­ing in apps that use Web View), a bet­ter Reader mode, and im­proved pro­tec­tion against cross-site web track­ing.

Busi­ness Chat (beta)

Ap­ple has added a new feature to Mes­sages called Busi­ness Chat that lets users com­mu­ni­cate di­rectly with busi­nesses, in­clud­ing Dis­cover, Hil­ton, Lowe’s, and Wells Fargo. That way, you can sched­ule ser­vice ap­point­ments or make pur­chases with­out shar­ing con­tact in­for­ma­tion.

Health Records (beta)

iOS 11.3 fea­tures a new Health Records app that aims to stream­line pa­tients’ med­i­cal data across health­care providers. Ac­cord­ing to Ap­ple, the pass­code­pro­tected app will col­lect health data from var­i­ous in­sti­tu­tions and or­ga­nize them into a sin­gle view, in­clud­ing no­ti­fi­ca­tions for lab re­sults, med­i­ca­tions, and con­di­tions. A lim­ited num­ber of pri­vate health providers sup­port this feature right now (as it is in beta), but the list will grow over time.

Videos in Music and News

Among the other ad­di­tions in iOS 11.3 are music videos inside Ap­ple Music and news video clips inside Ap­ple News. Ap­ple added thou­sands of music videos to Ap­ple Music along with a bunch of cu­rated playlists; you can find them in Ap­ple Music by head­ing to the Browse tab, and then se­lect­ing Music Videos.

HomeKit and AML

Ap­ple is high­light­ing HomeKit soft­ware au­then­ti­ca­tion (a feature it first talked about last year), which re­moves a big bar­rier for smart home gad­get mak­ers. They used to have to in­clude a spe­cial se­cure au­then­ti­ca­tion chip in their prod­ucts to sup­port HomeKit, but no longer.

Ap­ple will also sup­port Ad­vanced Mo­bile Lo­ca­tion (AML). This is a feature used pri­mar­ily across Europe that will au­to­mat­i­cally turn on lo­ca­tion ser­vices and text your lo­ca­tion to emer­gency re­spon­ders when you call emer­gency ser­vices. It has been sup­ported on An­droid since 2016 and al­ready has some high-pro­file suc­cess sto­ries, so it’s good to see Ap­ple jump­ing on board.

Lots of lit­tle things

iOS 11.3 is full of small im­prove­ments, too. There’s bet­ter power man­age­ment for iPads that are con­stantly

hooked up to a power sup­ply (like those in kiosks), a few tweaks to the App Store, and im­proved Ja­panese and Chi­nese key­boards, just to name a few. And of course, you’ll find a lot of bug fixes in this re­lease.

How to get it

You’ll re­ceive a no­ti­fi­ca­tion that iOS 11.3 is ready for you some­time over the com­ing days. But if you want to grab it as soon as pos­si­ble, sim­ply open Set­tings and head to Gen­eral and then Soft­ware Up­date.

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