Apple on Thursday has officially released iOS 11.3 to the general public, a day after launching it exclusively for the new iPad. And it’s a release you’re going to want to download.
While not a major iOS redesign, iOS 11.3 is packed with important and useful new features. Chief among them are the promised battery health and power management control capabilities, but there are also a ton of other additions, bug fixes and improvements.
The battery features are contained in a new Battery Health section found in Settings > Battery.
The menu will display your iPhone’s current battery capacity compared to its original charge, as well as whether or not your iPhone’s performance is being throttled due to that battery capacity.
On devices with a degraded battery that have unexpectedly shut down, iOS will automatically enable the controversial power management feature that throttles performance. But in iOS 11.3, users will be able to disable the feature to prioritize performance over mitigating shutdowns.
iOS 11.3 adds four new Animoji characters, including a dragon, lion, skull and bear.
On a similar note, the update introduces a new version of ARKit, 1.5, that allows developers to better place digital objects on vertical and horizontal surfaces, among other improvements and capabilities.
There’s also now an embedded Business Chat feature within Messages that lets users contact and communicate with various companies and businesses, and a new Health Records menu that lets users view important medical documentation in one place. It’s worth noting that both of these features are currently only available in the U.S. and are still in beta, according to the release notes.
On the privacy front, Apple has also added a “Privacy icon” that will help mitigate iCloud and Apple ID phishing. iOS 11.3 also adds small tweaks to core apps like the App Store, Safari, Keyboards, News, and Books.
Interestingly, there are two notable omissions to iOS 11.3 — at least in the release notes. For one, the notes make no mention of iMessage Storage in iCloud or AirPlay 2. Both features showed up in beta versions of iOS 11.3, but AirPlay 2 was removed from more recent releases.
And, as always, there’s a wide range of various bug fixes, under-the-hood changes and performance improvements — the full list of which you can see below.
iOS 11.3 should be available as a free over-the-air download to all iOS users with compatible devices, though it might take a bit to show up on your own device. You can find it in Settings > General > Software Update.
- ARKit 1.5 allows developers to place virtual objects on vertical surfaces, such as walls and doors, as well as on horizontal surfaces.
- Supports the detection and integration of images, such as movie posters or works, into augmented reality experiences.
- The real-world view perceived through the camera has a higher resolution as part of the augmented reality experience.
iPhone Battery Health (Beta)
- Displays the maximum capacity and optimal battery performance capability of the iPhone.
- Indicates whether the Performance Management feature, which dynamically handles maximum performance to avoid unexpected shutdowns, is enabled, and provides an option to disable it.
- Recommends replacing the battery when necessary.
- To learn more about batteries and performance, visit: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208387
iPad Charging Management
- Maintains battery status when the iPad is plugged in for extended periods of time, such as when used in a kiosk or point-of-sale system, or stored in a charging cart.
- Four new Animoji available on the iPhone X: lion, bear, dragon and skull.
- When an Apple feature wants to use your personal information, an icon now appears with a link to access detailed information about how your data will be used and protected.
Business Chat (Beta) — US Only
- Communicate with companies to easily ask questions, schedule appointments, and make purchases inside the built-in Messages app on iPhone and iPad
Health Records (Beta) — US Only
- Access health records and view lab results, immunizations, and more in a consolidated timeline in the Health app
- Provides a new experience in video clips, including a Revised Video Clips section featuring exclusive video playlists.
- Find friends with similar tastes through Apple Music’s improved suggestions, which list the genres that the users and mutual friends follow.
- The main titles now always appear first in “For You.”
- Watch the best videos selected by News editors.
- Four options now allow you to sort the customer reviews on the product pages: the most useful, the most favorable, the most critical or the most recent.
- The Updates tab now shows the version of the app and the size of the file.
- Promotes the protection of privacy by notifying usernames and passwords until they have been selected in a web form field.
- Presents warnings in the smart search field when the user interacts with password entry forms or credit card data on unencrypted web pages.
- Automatic filling of usernames and passwords is now available in apps’ web views.
- By default, articles shared via Mail from Safari are now formatted using Reader mode, if the drive is available.
- In Favorites, folders now have icons for the bookmarks they contain.
- Adds two Shuangpin keyboard layouts.
- Supports connected physical keyboards using Turkish F layout.
- Improves Chinese and Japanese keyboards for better accessibility on devices with a 4.7-inch or 5.5-inch screen.
- Allows you to return to the keyboard with a simple touch after the dictation.
- Fixes a problem that could cause the capitalization of the first letter of some words by the automatic correction feature.
- Fixes an issue on the iPad Pro that prevented the iPad Smart Keyboard from working after connecting to a captive Wi-Fi hotspot.
- Fixes a problem that could cause undesirable activation of the digital layout on the Thai keyboard in landscape mode.
- The App Store now supports accessibility options “Bold Text” and “Large Font” for customizing the display.
- Smart Reversal now supports images on the web and in Mail messages.
- Enhances the RTT experience and supports RTT service for T-Mobile.
- Improves app selection on the iPad for VoiceOver users and selection control.
- Corrects a problem with the incorrect description of the Bluetooth status icon and the Bluetooth icon by VoiceOver.
- Fixes a problem that may prevent the end of call button from appearing in the Phone app when using VoiceOver.
- Fixes an issue preventing access to an app’s built-in ranking with VoiceOver.
- Fixes a problem that may cause distorted audio playback when using real-time listening.
Other Enhancements and Fixes
- Supports AML technology, which provides more accurate location data to emergency services during an emergency call (in countries where this technology is available).
- Supports software authentication, which provides developers with a new way to create and activate HomeKit-compatible accessories.
- Podcasts now plays episodes with a single tap, and you can tap Details to learn more about each one.
- Improves search performance for users with long notes in Contacts.
- Improves the performance of Handoff and the universal clipboard when both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
- Fixes a problem that may prevent incoming calls from activating the screen.
- Fixes a problem that may prevent or prevent voicemail playback.
- Fixes an issue that prevents opening a web link in Messages.
- Fixes a problem that may prevent users from returning to Mail after previewing an attachment to a message.
- Fixes a problem that could cause the deleted screen to reappear on the locked screen.
- Fixes a problem that can cause the time and notifications to disappear on the locked screen.
- Fixes an issue that prevents parents from using Face ID for approving purchase authorization requests.
- Fixes a problem that could prevent updating of the current weather conditions in Weather.
- Fixes a problem that could prevent the synchronization of contacts with a vehicle directory when connected via Bluetooth.
- Fixes a problem that may prevent an audio app from playing content in a vehicle while it was in the background.