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iOS 11.3: the 7 best new features


More floating cartoon puppets for your face: just one of the new features of iOS 11.3.

Screenshots of Sean Hollister / CNET

iOS 11.3, the latest version of Apple's iPhone and iPad operating system, will arrive this spring and offer more features than you would expect from a ".3" version. Whether you're interested in augmented reality, cute Animoji or just a way to prevent Apple strangle your old iPhone, damn, there is something in this update that arouses your curiosity.

And those are just the features of the title of a list that gets longer as we talk, since Apple tore the new beta of iOS 11.3 to see what changed the company. (Did I mention? Apple released iOS 11.3 beta 1 to developers today.)

These are the features we know of, since January 24th.


1. Take control of your battery

I'm not talking about battery life – I'm talking about the ability to prevent Apple secretly strangle the processing power of your phone as the phone's battery ages. Apple was caught red-handed doing that last winter, and ended up having to apologize for keeping it a secret. And although the company apparently had a good reason to do so – avoiding unexpected closures – the revelation left a bad taste in the mouths of some people.

Anyway, as of iOS 11.3, its the battery is yours to control . You can deactivate the acceleration function and / or navigate to Configuration> Battery to see the current health of your battery. If your iPhone 6 or later needs a battery exchange to maintain maximum performance without problems, Apple says that iOS 11.3 will tell you.

So, it's just a matter of opting for Apple's $ 29 replacement battery sometime before the end of the year. (That's how long Apple has said that the $ 29 price will last)

2. More Animoji


GIF by Sean Hollister / CNET

Do you have a iPhone X ? Then you're probably familiar with Animoji the floating animated avatars that you control with your face so you can send animal emotions to your friends and family through iMessage. (They use the motion detection array with face ID built-in to the front of the iPhone X.)

iOS 11 comes with 12 different Animoji, and iOS 11.3 brings four new creatures in the pen: a lion , bear, dragon and skull.

Here you can see a little preview of them in our animated GIF. (No, the skull does not have much emotion.) I should have taken lessons from Pixar & # 39; s Coco )

3. Augmented reality becomes vertical

Apple's ARKit augmented reality applications can be quite amazing but the technology that erased the world had a key limitation right from the start. ARKit could only recognize horizontal surfaces, such as floors and tables, when deciding where to locate virtual objects and make them appear as part of their real world.

With the IKEA ARKit application, for example, you could see what a new sofa would look like on the floor of the living room, but you could not mount a virtual closet on its real walls.

But iOS 11.3 comes with ARKit 1.5, which recognizes vertical surfaces and "irregular shaped surfaces like circular tables" too, according to Apple. That should allow AR developers to develop a variety of new things, and it could also improve the accuracy of augmented reality applications.

In addition, ARKit 1.5 can recognize flat images such as posters, posters and works of art now and use them to trigger AR content. CNET Shara Tibken tried to point an iPhone at a poster of a lunar lander and was rewarded with an interactive video of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Here is a list of iPhones and iPads that support ARKit.

4. AirPlay 2

Not mentioned in Apple's press release, but smart developers discovered it anyway: iOS 11.3 will bring AirPlay 2, which allows Apple to take Sonos with multi-room audio playback (for example, you decide what song is played in each of the multiple speakers distributed throughout your house). It is a feature that was announced last June in the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) of Apple for iOS 11, but apparently it was not ready until now.


Apple's HomePod.

James Martin / CNET

Of course, it would probably help if there were more AirPlay 2 speakers to support the function. The $ 349, £ 319 or AU $ 499 Apple HomePod, that are shipped this February after an initial delay will not allow it at launch, and it's not clear if iOS 11.3 is what HomePod is waiting for. Apple did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Meanwhile, it seems that you can stream audio to several Apple TVs in your home. That's something.

5. Read and delete iMessages anywhere

It's one thing to receive notifications on your iPhone, iPad and Mac when you receive a new message. Another thing is to be able to delete a message on your Apple laptop and have that deletion reflected on your phone and tablet as well.

It was supposed that the messages in iCloud took that to iOS 11, but the function was not successful, until now, apparently, to see how the developers simply discovered that it exists in the beta version of iOS 11.3. That does not necessarily mean it will come this spring with the full release of iOS 11.3, but maybe?

6. Chat without complications with your bank or store

Business chat.


Why call a large company or browse your website when you can ping your messaging application? Facebook Messenger already offers this feature, and iOS 11.3 will also take Business Chat to iMessage on their iPhone and iPad. Here's Apple's speech:

"With Business Chat, it's easy to chat with a service representative, schedule an appointment or make purchases using Apple Pay in the Messaging application." Business Chat does not share the user's contact information with the companies and offers users the ability to stop chatting at any time. "

Originally announced last June in WWDC and scheduled to arrive as part of iOS 11, it seems that the feature has not yet been It will end when it launches this spring: it will be a beta version for "selected businesses, including Discover, Hilton, Lowe & # 39; s and Wells Fargo".

7. Your health, delivered

Also in beta, the new Apple Health Registry hopes to offer something that patients (also known as humans) have wanted since the advent of the medical record: a way to easily access all of their medical records, No matter which doctor, clinic or hospital you choose, in one place (and encrypted).



Of course, that only works as long as all of your care providers are on board, and so far only these places are part of the beta version:

  • Johns Hopkins Medicine – Baltimore, Maryland
  • Cedars-Sinai – Los Angeles, California
  • Penn Medicine – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Geisinger Health System – Danville, Pennsylvania
  • UC San Diego Health – San Diego, California
  • UNC Health Care – Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Rush University Medical Center – Chicago, Illinois
  • Dignity Health – Arizona, California and Nevada
  • Ochsner Health System – Jefferson Parish , Louisiana
  • MedStar Health – Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia
  • OhioHealth – Columbus, Ohio
  • Healthe Cerner Clinic – Kansas City, Missouri

"In the next months, more facilities Doctors will connect to Health Records by offering their patients access to this feature, "writes Apple.

Everything Else

Here's a short list of everything else interesting that Apple has announced (or curious developers have found) so far:

  • Apple says Apple Music will soon leave users "broadcast all the videos musicals that they want without being interrupted by the announcements "and they offer lists of reproduction of musical videos.
  • Apple says that Apple News will offer a section of "Better Improved Stories" and a new section of videos with "the most important videos of the day".
  • Apple says that iOS 11.3 will support Advanced Mobile Location to automatically send a user's location to emergency services when they make a 911 (or similar) call.
  • Apple says it will allow developers to make HomeKit accessories with software authentication (which is cheaper than a hardware authentication chip, so maybe we'll see more HomeKit adoption).
  • The iBooks application is now simply called Books, according to developers who have tested the iOS 11.3 beta.


Apple says that iOS 11.3 will be a free upgrade for iPhone 5S and later, iPad Air and iPad Pro, fifth generation iPad, iPad Mini 2 and later, and sixth-generation iPod Touch. Animojis requires an iPhone X, and only a subset of these iPhones and iPads supports ARKit .

The smartest thing: innovators are devising new ways to make you and the things around you smarter.

& # 39; Alexa, be more human & # 39 ;: within the effort of Amazon to make your voice assistant more intelligent, talkative and more like you.

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