APPLE HAS PUSHED OUT iOS 10.3 to iPhone and iPad users, giving both devices a security boost.
One of the biggest new features in iOS 10.3 is Apple's next-generation Apple File System (APFS) with native encryption, replacing the age-old HFS+ file system, a feature first introduced with macOS Sierra.
As well as deepening the level of encryption, which will no doubt intensify demands from law enforcement agencies to implement backdoors into encrypted communications, APFS also brings with it auto-trim to prevent devices using flash slowing over time, and a 'space sharing' feature that enables multiple file systems to share the same underlying free space on a physical volume.
The iOS 10.3 update also adds the ability for developers to respond to App Store reviews for the first time, a feature that has been available to Android devs since 2012.
iOS devs will be able to "respond to customer reviews on the App Store in a way that is available for all customers to see", Apple has said, suggesting that the App Store will receive support for threaded conversations in reviews as well as developer profiles.
Developers also have access to a new API for asking users to rate or review an app while they're using it without sending them to the App Store.
iOS 10.3 also brings with it support for AirPods in Apple's Find My iPhone app. This means that you can search for the AirPods from the app, as long as they are within Bluetooth range of any of your iOS devices. The AirPods will start emitting a loud sound, presumably from down the back of your sofa.
Other new features include reworked app transition animations, a Podcasts widget, 3D Touch support on the Weather icon, a redesigned Settings menu, HomeKit improvements and, er, cricket scores in Siri.
Apple has also released an update for macOS that brings Night Shift to MacBooks and iMacs and real-time collaboration in its iWork suite of apps, and an update for Apple Watch users that brings with it Siri support for third-party apps and a new Theatre Mode button. µ
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