Apple’s next update brings Health app enhancements, insight into battery health, new Animojis, AR upgrades, Business Chat and more.
With the 3rd version of iOS11.3 beta being released a few days ago, it’s time to be prepared for the coming-this-spring release candidate. Given the number of interesting updates coming with this version of the iOS, it is no exaggeration to call it one of the most significant iOS versions to come out in recent times. Here’s a round-up of the iOS 11.3 features you should look out for:
The Health app comes with an interesting update that allows users to access medical records from multiple providers whenever they wish to. This is a huge step taken by Apple in view of the interoperability issue plaguing the healthcare industry. Though this feature is currently available for select providers only, it is expected to be a trendsetter and pave the way for more to come onboard. We will also see an increase in iOS application development activity for interesting new features targeted at better patient engagement.
Note that with the latest beta release, it also appears there may be an option for users to share Health Records analytics data with Apple.
A long-awaited feature and something that hopefully will be very useful. Your iPhone can now show you battery health and recommend if it needs to be serviced. It provides details on maximum battery capacity and peak performance capability. Also, the power management feature that manages the phone’s performance to avoid unexpected shutdowns, is now available for users to choose to turn on or off.
Business Chat is a new way for users to communicate directly with businesses using Messages. Launching with select businesses including Discover, Hilton, Lowe’s and Wells Fargo initially, it could well be used by other businesses soon. With Business Chat, one can directly interact with customer care personnel, schedule appointments or even make purchases using Apple Pay! We think this can pave the way for whole new levels of customer service and convenience. It is worth noting that this feature doesn’t by itself share the user’s contact information with the business. Also, users can stop the chat at any time.
One of the most interesting updates for all you AR geeks out there! In addition to horizontal surfaces like tables and chairs, ARKit can now recognize and place virtual objects on vertical surfaces such as walls and can more accurately map irregularly shaped surfaces like circular tables. It can also find and recognize the position of 2D images such as signs, posters, and artwork. ARKit lets you integrate these real-world images into AR experiences thereby helping you be incredibly creative with building your iOS apps! Additional improvements include 50pc greater resolution for the view of the real-world as seen through the camera and a sharper perspective for the auto-focus function – both of these will help make the AR experience even more delightful than before!
iOS 11.3 allows you to store iMessages with iCloud. This means you can now seamlessly read or write messages from a device that is connected to the iCloud and catch up on any other of the connected devices!
This one’s going to excite quite a few of the chatting ninjas on iPhoneX! Fun and addictive, animojis are animated avatars you can control with your face and use to send expressions in your chat! Indeed, a very creative way of using the Face ID motion sensing camera feature. iOS 11.3 brings four new animojis with it.
iOS 11.3 introduces official support for HomeKit software authentication options. This is bound to increase HomeKit adoption given that until now, smart device makers had to launch next-generation devices with hardware that has a MFi chip required by HomeKit for device authentication. This is now replaced with a software requirement that is relatively cheaper to get to market. Considering the rapid rise of competing products from the likes of Amazon and Google in this space, Apple has made a good move here.
The App Store will now let you sort app reviews by criteria such as most helpful, most favorable etc. This is bound to make the app-searching experience much more fruitful and wieldy with users having the ability to easily find the kind of reviews most relevant to them. Also, there is a useful update to the information displayed with each app as and when an update becomes available that tells you the version number and the space it would take up on device.
Now this is something users would really appreciate. iOS now provides a new Privacy icon and screen when an app or feature requests to use your personal information. So if you see the Privacy icon displayed you know that some potentially sensitive data is being collected. Apple does caution, however, that users should not expect to see this icon with every new feature because Apple only collects information when it is needed to enable features, secure services or personalize the app experience. Nevertheless, this is a positive step towards respecting users’ privacy and it could lay a foundation for additional such measures to be taken in the days to come.
A new ‘For You’ section is now introduced with Apple News that displays the top videos of the day.
There is now support for Advanced Mobile Location (AML) for more accurate location when placing an emergency call in a supported country. Definitely good to have.
iOS 11.3 will bring better support for music videos. Users will be able to stream music videos without ads (yes!) and create and view music video playlists.
That was a quick round-up of some of the most interesting features to look out for with iOS 11.3. Make sure you have your phones freed up with adequate space to install this update and make the best use of it!