Apple officially unveiled iOS 11.3 back in January, which marked the biggest update to iOS 11 to date. Last week, the update moved out of its beta status and became available for everyone to download.
Before jumping into everything that is new with iOS 11.3, let’s take a look at which devices are compatible:
- iPhone X
- iPhone 8/8 Plus
- iPhone 7/7 Plus
- iPhone 6s/6s Plus
- iPhone 6/6 Plus
- iPhone SE
- iPhone 5s
- 1st Gen iPad Pro 12.9-inch
- 2nd Gen iPad Pro 12.9-inch
- 10.5-inch iPad Pro
- 9.7-inch iPad Pro
- iPad Air 1/2
- iPad (5th Gen)
- iPad Mini 2, 3, 4
- iPod Touch (6th Gen)
What’s New in iOS 11.3?
Now that you have an idea as to whether your current device is compatible, let’s take a look at what’s new. Apple has included quite a few new features with the release of iOS 11.3.
While FaceID is arguably the best way to unlock smartphones nowadays, the camera technology includes some extra fun. This is where Animoji comes into play.
With the release of iOS 11.3, iPhone X owners are greeted with a few new options. In addition to fan favorites such as the fox or poop emoji, here are the new Animoji:
You can definitely expect to see more of these show up in future Apple commercials.
iPhone Battery Health
After it was discovered that Apple was intentionally slowing down phones, the company was forced to make things right. This is where the new iPhone Battery Health feature comes into play.
This will be made available via the Settings menu, and will show a few different pieces of information. This includes the ability to recommend if a battery needs to be replaced.
Of course, you likely won’t need to keep an eye on this if you have an iPhone X. However, if you have an older iPhone SE or iPad Mini, this can definitely come in handy.
iOS 11.3 also ushers in a new wave of features for ARKit. While the augmented reality functionality was already quite popular, there are a lot of new additions being made.
These new additions include the ability for developers to place digital objects on surfaces such as walls or doors. Additionally, you will now be able to use ARKit in conjunction with movie posters or artwork.
Can you imagine using your iPhone to take a picture of Star Wars movie poster and being completely immersed in a new experience? That’s what Apple is trying to do here with the update to ARKit 1.5. We can expect to see new apps arrive on the App Store, and current apps updated with new features.
Apple Music is one of those apps that is a mixed bag of goods. There are some great features included, but there are also some glaring omissions.
Other than offering a few bug fixes, iOS 11.3 does not really do much to “fix” major issues. Instead, Apple has included “a new music video experience”. This allows users to view exclusive content directly from the Apple Music app.
Health Records (Beta)
It’s no secret that Apple has been making a bigger push to help iPhone owners stay healthy. With iOS 11.3, the company has introduced ‘Health Records’.
When using this feature, you can request medical records from participating institutions. From there, you can view all of the information directly from the Health app on your iPhone.
Different pieces of information are shared, including things such as allergies, medication, conditions, lab results, and more. The addition of Health Records opens the door for Apple to continue making big strides in the health world.
Are you tired of waiting on the phone to speak to customer service? Well, with Business Chat, Apple is hoping to remove that headache from your life.
Business Chat is being introduced in iOS 11.3 and you can send messages to your favorite businesses from the Messages app. These include Apple, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Newegg, Wells Fargo, and more.
For those who are concerned about this acting as a ploy to be hammered with promos, don’t. Apple states that only you can contact the company, so you won’t have to worry about useless spam.
In addition to the aforementioned features, iOS 11.3 includes quite a few more changes. These include new privacy features, an update to the News app, and more.
- When an Apple feature asks to use your personal information, an icon now appears along with a link to detailed information explaining how your data will be used and protected
- Top Stories now always appear first in For You
- Watch Top Videos curated by News editors
- App Store
- Adds ability to sort customer reviews on product pages by Most Helpful, Most Favorable, Most Critical, or Most Recent
- Improves Updates tab information with app version and file size
- Helps protect privacy by only AutoFilling usernames and passwords after selecting them in a web form field
- Includes warnings in the Smart Search Field when interacting with password or credit card forms on non-encrypted web pages
- AutoFill for usernames and passwords is now available in web views within apps
- Articles shared to Mail from Safari are now formatted using Reader mode by default when Reader is available
- Folders in Favorites now show icons for the bookmarks contained within
If you want to view the entire changelog, you can check it out here.
Unfortunately, a few major features have been removed from iOS 11.3. Most notably, AirPlay 2 was removed early on as Apple just seems to not be ready yet.
Additionally, Messages on iCloud was also removed with the 3rd iOS 11.3 beta. This feature automatically stores conversations and attachments online. When updating to a new device, this feature will make sure that your messages and attachment survive the transfer.
We’ll have to wait to hear more from Apple as to when these features are expected to return. However, we may not see these features added until iOS 12, expected later this year.
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.