Apple has today rolled out iOS 11.3 in what is being called the biggest operating system update for iOS devices since iOS 11. In addition to iOS 11.3, Apple has also rolled out watchOS 4.3, and tvOS 11.3. Here’s a look at everything that is new with the rolled out operating system updates.
iOS 11.3 features
Apple’s iOS 11.3 update supports all iPad Air and later models, the iPad mini 2 and later, the iPhone 5S and later, and the sixth-generation iPod touch. The update addresses issues like battery-based performance throttling on older devices, adds significant new capabilities for augmented reality, adds the Business Chat feature, and lets users access their personal health records in the Health app. And most importantly, the update’s description claims to fix the issue that “could prevent incoming calls from waking the display”.
As promised, Apple has made it possible to disable performance throttling on older iPhones whose batteries have degraded to the point that that they pose a risk for unexpected shutdowns resulting from voltage shortages. Apple however has listed this feature as beta.
Post the update, you will now see a section in the Settings app, nested under “Battery,” called “Battery Health.” If you visit this on a phone with a battery Apple deems healthy, it will simply serve up brief copy explaining some key concerns with iPhone batteries, along with a link to a webpage that goes into more detail.
In the US, iOS 11.3 also brings Health Records feature, which is a feature that aggregates all of your medical records in one place, that is, if you have a participating provider.
The new update also updates ARKit to the version 1.5, which is built in iOS 11.3 too. The new version of ARKit more accurately maps irregularly shaped surfaces. It has image and object recognition, and lets you place virtual stuff onto vertical surfaces.
As Apple had revealed in its iOS 11.3 preview, the update also adds support for new Animojis for iPhone X. A skeleton, a lion, a dragon, and a bear, are the new additions. These new Animoji don’t add any new functionality; they’re just new skins for the iPhone X-exclusive feature.
iOS 11.3 also adds the ability to chat with representatives from participating companies directly in your Messages app. It’s essentially a platform for text-message-based customer support, called Business Chat. This feature was also previewed by Apple two months ago.
In order to initiate a conversation on Business Chat, you just need to tap on the Messages icon that appears in the Safari or Apple Maps apps, as well as in iOS searches. In the course of the conversation, you can use Apple Pay for transactions without leaving the app. If you need to set an appointment, a menu listing available times will swipe up from the bottom of the screen. This feature isn’t available for users in India yet.
watchOS 4.3 features
Along with the iOS 11.3, Apple also released the watchOS 4.3 today. The update includes Nightstand mode. Additionally, the music playback feature from the Watch, which was ommited starting watchOS 4, has now been rolled back with the new update. The latest iteration lets you control playback and volume on Apple’s HomePod too. There’s also a new charging animation and new app loading animation, and your activity data can be seen on the Siri watch face.
tvOS 11.3 features
tvOS 11.3 comes with auto frame rate switching on the 4th-gen Apple TV, and automatic mode switching for AirPlay video sessions. You will also get enhancements for Match Content. The update is rolling out to 4th and 5th generation Apple TVs.