For the first time in forever, Apple announced today the upcoming features that the tech giant plans to implement in the next major point release of its iOS 11 mobile operating system for supported iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices.
We’ll start with what’s important first, as Apple confirmed that the iOS 11.3 update is incorporating the promised battery features the company said it would implement after it was being sued by numerous iPhone users because of a so-called feature that has slowed down their devices under certain conditions.
“iOS 11.3 adds new features to show battery health and recommend if a battery needs to be serviced,” says Apple. “Additionally, users can now see if the power management feature that dynamically manages maximum performance to prevent unexpected shutdowns, first introduced in iOS 10.2.1, is on and can choose to turn it off.”
Apple said that iPhone users would be able to access the new battery features of iOS 11.3 under Settings -> Battery. These will be available for iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, though the battery health feature will be available for newer devices too.
iOS 11.3 brings ARKit improvements, new animoji, and health records
Another interesting feature coming to iOS 11.3 this spring is Health Records in the Health app. According to Apple, this feature will make it easier for iPhone users to present their medical data to various clinics and hospitals. It’s not clear if this will be available worldwide, but all Health Records data will be encrypted and secured by default.
Apple also plans to add some major improvements to ARKit for new, breathtaking Augmented Reality experiences for iPhone and iPad users, with the ultimate goal of making its iOS mobile operating system the world’s biggest AR platform. ARKit will be updated to version 1.5, which includes several new tools for AR developers.
Last but not least, iOS 11.3 will introduce four new Animoji, including a lion, dragon, bear, and skull. As expected, these will be available in the Messages app for iPhone X and later devices. Also, the Messages app will come with a new Business Chat to let users more easily communicate with businesses like Hilton, Discover, Lowe’s, and Wells Fargo.
“With Business Chat, it’s easy to have a conversation with a service representative, schedule an appointment or make purchases using Apple Pay in the Messages app. Business Chat doesn’t share the user’s contact information with businesses and gives users the ability to stop chatting at any time,” explained Apple.
iOS 11.3 also bring music video streaming to Apple Music, Apple News and HomeKit improvements, as well as a very cool new feature that automatically sends your current location emergency services. The company said that the iOS 11.3 software update would be publicly available this spring, which means that the first developer and public betas could arrive as soon as next week.