Apple has seeded its iOS 11.3 to public testers. The version came shortly after the arrival of the first two betas following the release of iOS 11.2.5, which introduced HomePod support. Other novelties of the 11.2.5 included a few additional Siri features and a fix for the Message text bomb issue. The beta 3 version introduces such long-expected tweak as a toggle for the battery throttling on the older iPhones. It also fixes a few minor bugs and introduces support for the 6th generation iPod Touch. Besides, there are a series of other novelties, which we offer to read.
Batteries and Performance
As was promised, Apple will enhance the power management of batteries. The users will see overall battery health and will be warned if the battery is triggering a system slowdown. In this case, the feature can be toggled off. The switch will not be available on all currently used iPhones, but only on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. If you own one of the above-mentioned models, and especially if you experience the above-mentioned battery issues, it is really high time for you to update your old iOS to take advantage of the useful novelty.
The feature was first introduced in Beta 2. You can go to Settings > Battery > Battery Health (Beta) to see the peak capacity (as the percent of the value on a new battery) and whether your phone can sustain the peak performance. If your iPhone is slowing down because the battery cannot supply the necessary peak voltage (which is common for older iPhone models), this is the right place to find it. And this is the right place to switch off the throttling.
iCloud Messaging: Another Prominent Step
One of the most expected iOS 11 features is finally on board in the iOS 11.3. The first beta introduced iCloud support for Messages, and the third beta allows you to store all Messages on your iCloud account in clearing space and performing a perfect sync on all your iOS and macOS devices. Presently, you can see the entire Messages history. And by deleting a message on one of your devices, you will get rid of its copies on the rest of your devices.
ARKit 1.5: Progressing in the Augmented Reality
With the current beta, on board is the ARKit 1.5 upgrade whose features include the ability to recognize and place objects on the vertical surfaces (for example, on walls or doors). Another ability allows the users to map non-square surfaces (like circular tables).
AirPlay 2: Removal
Unfortunately, Apple has removed AirPlay 2 in this current beta. Actually, such a step is not a surprise, as the feature was very buggy and rough in the recent betas. Thus, no multi-room audio in this beta. It is very probable that AirPlay 2 was removed for additional polishing and will be reintroduced with one of the upcoming versions. Once returned, the feature could provide a prospective alternative to such platforms as Sonos and Chromecast Audio.
Safari 11.1: Plenty of Small Goodies
The Safari 11.1, available with iOS 11.3 (and macOS 10.13.4), introduces a whole bunch of new features:
- Animated GIFs can be now replaced with silent videos for smaller downloads, better coloring, and improved decoding.
- A new safeguard feature: on clicking a field to enter credit card number or password on a doubtful page, the user is warned with a “Website Not Secure” message.
- Another security tweak. The improved Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature prevents websites from performing cross-site tracking of the user’s activities.
- Safari Reader experience is improved in Safari 11.1 owing to a new extraction engine.
- Password AutoFill simplifies the procedure of logging into applications making it unnecessary for you to copy/paste the password each time.
- Now all web apps saved to Home screen and those in SFSafariViewController can use the camera to capture images.
- A series of new APIs introduced, such as Payment Request API and Beacon API, being among them the new Service Workers feature intended to allow additional background scripts for offline web applications.
Business Chat for Secure Business
In the Messages, a new section has appeared. It is called Business Chat and it allows your direct communication with numerous businesses including Hilton, Discover, and Lowe’s. It is now possible to schedule appointments and make purchases without sharing contact data.
The Health Records
iOS 11.3 features a new Health Records section in the Health app, which is designed to organize patients’ medical information from a network of healthcare providers. The section (protected with a passcode) is able to collect health data produced by hospitals, clinics and other kinds of medical institutions. Then it generates a single picture for a particular patient with all pertaining information including lab results, conditions, and medications.
Apple now supports Advanced Mobile Location (AML), which is widely assessed as an important step. AML is a caller location technique with a solid record of successful functioning as an emergency aid facility.
When Will It Be Released?
In accordance with its usual practice, Apple does not announce exact dates for the release of its iOS 11.3. So far, only a general frame of “this spring” has been announced. We expect two or more new beta releases before the official release of the iOS version.
How to Get a Developer Release?
Developer releases are available from the Apple Developer site. Regular users wishing to participate in the beta testing are welcome to beta.apple.com where they will find all necessary information.