Apple on Thursday released the final version of iOS 11.3, which iPhone owners can download now as an over-the-air update. The newest software is Apple's biggest release since iOS 11 launched last September, and includes new Animoji, and the option to disable Apple's controversial power management features.
There are four new Animoji: a lion, bear, dragon, and skull. For those unfamiliar, Animoji turns users into animated characters by utilizing the iPhone X's TrueDepth camera. Following Animoji's arrival, the feature has become a phenomenon, even spawning a copycat from Samsung.
The most high profile feature in iOS 11.3 is Battery Health, which is being released in response to Apple's slowdown controversy. The feature is designed to provide users with more information about their device's battery, and the ability to turn off power management features entirely.
Apple began slowing down older iPhone models so they wouldn't unexpectedly shutdown due to degraded batteries. While the idea behind the feature makes sense, Apple's software was causing older devices to slow down. If you decide to disable Apple's power management feature, you may notice a boost in performance, though Apple CEO Tim Cook recommends keeping the feature on.
iOS 11.3 also includes improvements to ARKit, Health Records, and more, though there's still no word on when AirPlay 2 will be available. You can check out iOS 11.3's full release notes down below. Significantly, neither Messages on iCloud or AirPlay 2 are available, meaning users will have to wait even longer to take advantage of these features.
In what's becoming a familiar theme for Apple, iOS 11 still isn't complete despite some features being announced last summer.
iOS 11.3 release notes
- ARKit 1.5 allows developers to place virtual objects on vertical surfaces like walls and doors in addition to horizontal surfaces
- Adds support for detecting and incorporating images like movie posters or artwork into AR experiences
- Supports a higher resolution real-world camera view when using AR experiences
iPhone Battery Health (Beta)
- Displays information on iPhone maximum battery capacity and peak performance capability
- Indicates if the performance management feature that dynamically manages maximum performance to prevent unexpected shutdowns is on and includes the option to disable it
- Recommends if a battery needs to be replaced
- For more information on batteries and performance, visit this website: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208387
iPad charge 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 asks 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.