Apple’s iOS beta releases are coming thick and fast. The Cupertino company on Monday released iOS 11.3 beta 5, marking one week since we saw the last beta. The new software takes us one step closer to a final release, which Apple previously said would be available in the spring.
Among the new features arriving with iOS 11.3 includes new Animoji, Messages in iCloud, and battery management settings. It’s one of Apple’s largest updates since iOS 11 hit last September
You can read more about what iOS 11.3 from Apple’s announcement a few months ago.
With iOS 11.2.5 now rolling out to devices, Apple is eager to share what’s next. So, the company on Wednesday unveiled what to expect from iOS 11.3, including a new battery management feature recently teased by Apple CEO Tim Cook.
When iOS 11.3 is released in the spring, the software will show battery health information and recommend if a battery needs to be serviced. Additionally, Apple will allow users to disable a power management feature that was at the center of so much controversy last month.
The features come in response to the revelation that Apple was deliberately slowing down old iPhones to avoid accidental shutdowns. Apple said the features will be available for the iPhone 6 and later.
Additionally, Apple is adding four new Animoji, including a lion, bear, dragon, and skull. Since launching alongside the iPhone X, Animoji have become a phenomenon unto their own, spawning a fun karaoke trend that was the highlight of a big marketing campaign. You can preview the lion Animoji in the image below.
The introduction of iOS 11.3 will also bring improvements to ARKit, giving developers the tools to create even more immersive augmented reality experiences. Now, ARKit can recognize and place virtual objects on vertical surfaces like walls and doors, Apple said, allowing users to decorate their home with virtual posters and wall art before making a purchase.
Finally, Apple is introducing a Health Records feature in the Health app, which will allow consumers to see medical data from multiple providers. Users will receive regular notifications for lab results, medications, conditions, and more. All of this information will be encrypted and protected with a passcode, Apple said.
There are other features coming to iOS 11.3, too, like improvements to Apple News and a feature in HomeKit that will allow developers to add HomeKit support to existing accessories. The software will also feature Advanced Mobile Location (AML), which will automatically send a user’s current location when making a call to emergency services.
The first beta for iOS 11.3 is available now, with an anticipated spring release.