iOS 11.3 will bring with it new features in response to the recent news that Apple slowed performance on older iPhones with aging batteries. Specifically, the update will show battery health and recommend if the battery needs to be services. iOS will also show if Apple’s performance management feature is on and allow users to disable it.
Apple will also add new Animoji for iPhone X users in iOS 11.3. Four new characters will be added, including a dragon, a bear, a lion, and a skull.
Along with new Animoji, a new Business Chat feature is coming to Messages in iOS 11.3. This feature will let you chat with businesses, set appointments, and order products. Businesses won’t get your personal info during a chat, and you can leave whenever you’d like. The businesses that’ll participate in the iOS 11.3 Business Chat beta include Discover, Hilton, Lowe’s and Wells Fargo.
Health data is getting an upgrade in iOS 11.3, too. Apple’s new Health Records feature will bring together all of your health data from participating hospitals and clinics as well as your existing Health data into a single place. You can also get notifications about lab results, medications, and more here. Health Records data is encrypted and requires a passcode.
Apple is beefing up its augmented reality offering in iOS 11.3 with ARKit 1.5. With it, ARKit can recognize vertical surfaces like walls and doors and place objects on them and can better map irregularly shaped surfaces. The view of the real world through the camera is improving, too, with 50 percent greater resolution and autofocus.
Other new features coming with iOS 11.3 include music videos in Apple Music, improved Top Stories and a Video group in the For You section of Apple News, HomeKit software authentication, and Advanced Mobile Location support to automatically send your location when making a call to emergency services.
It’s looking like iOS 11.3 will be a significant update, which is interesting to see this far into iOS 11’s life. Many folks will welcome Apple being more transparent about slowing performance on older iPhones with aging batteries, especially since that can be disabled, and ARKit 1.5 ought to really give a boost to augmented reality apps.
An iOS 11.3 beta is available to developers today and will be offered to public testers in the Apple Beta Software Program soon. The full update will launch to the public this spring.