Apple's iOS 11.3 Update DETAILED: New Features & What To Expect

Michael Grothaus

24/01/2018 – 4:20pm

Apple’s next iOS update is going to be MASSIVE!

Today Apple announced that the next major update to iOS is coming much sooner than most people thought While Apple usually updates iOS once a year–in the autumn, it occasionally comes out with big feature updates to the current iOS throughout the year. The next big feature update, we now know, will be iOS 11.3. Apple announced the move today in a press release stating: “This spring, iOS 11.3 will deliver exciting new ways to experience augmented reality on iPhone and iPad, new Animoji on iPhone X and the ability to view health records in the Health app.” But just what are these “exciting new” experiences and features? Let’s take a look.

iOS 11.3: New Battery Features

Yeah, Apple has taken A LOT of slack about the fact that it throttles older iPhones in order to preserve battery life. While this is actually a pretty clever way to allow iPhones to last the whole day, many people thought Apple should have been more transparent with what they were doing. That’s why in iOS 11.3 Apple is introducing a feature to turn this throttling off. As Apple says, “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.”

iOS 11.3: More Animoji

The animoji faces available in Messages on the iPhone X have been a big hit with users. Though essentially pointless, they are a lot of fun. In iOS 11.3 Apple will introduce four new animoji including a lion, bear, dragon or skull. these animoji will require the iPhone X and its TrueDepth–sorry older iPhone owners.

iOS 11.3: Business Chat

Messages is getting another new feature in iOS 11.3–and this one is available to all users. Business Chat will allow customers to directly communicate with select businesses in the Messages app. This is almost exactly the same as the business service Facebook offers for its messages. How many people will actually use this? Who knows. But when the beta launches in iOS 11.3 the first businesses to take part will include Discover, Hilton, Lowe’s and Wells Fargo.

iOS 11.3: Better AR

ARKit was a huge feature of iOS 11. It allowed developers to build revolutionary AR apps. The thing is, users don’t really seem to have adopted these apps en masse–or at least as much as had hoped. From previous comments, we know Tim Cook thinks AR is the future, so that’s perhaps why it’s little surprise iOS 11.3 will be expanding on the OS’s current AR capabilities.

Apple says, “In addition to horizontal surfaces like tables and chairs, ARKit can now recognize and place virtual objects on vertical surfaces like walls and doors, and can more accurately map irregularly shaped surfaces like circular tables. Using advanced computer vision techniques to find and recognize the position of 2D images such as signs, posters, and artwork, ARKit can integrate these real-world images into AR experiences such as filling a museum with interactive exhibits or bringing a movie poster to life.”

iOS 11.3: Health Records In Health App

The final big iOS 11.3 update is an expansion of the capabilities of the Health app. The new app will allow users to see their medical records from select hospitals and institutions. Apple says, “Patients from participating medical institutions will have information from various institutions organized into one view and receive regular notifications for their lab results, medications, conditions and more.”

iOS 11.3 is expected to be out this Spring and it will be a free download and run on any iOS device that currently supports iOS 11.

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