APPLE HAS SHOWN OFF iOS 11.3, a hefty software update coming to iPhone and iPad users later this year.
The most notable incoming improvement is Apple's battery health indicator, which follows the firm's confession that it slows down the performance of older iPhones in order to prevent processors from demanding too much power from older Lithium-ion battery packs, which degrade over time and struggle to deliver the peak currents and battery life they could when new.
With iOS 11.3, Apple will show users the health of their iPhone's battery and notify when it needs to be serviced. As promised, the new feature will show users if Apple is hamstringing the performance of their handset, and will enable users to toggle the throttling 'feature' on and off.
Apple's battery health indicator will be coming to the iPhone SE, iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, 7 and 7 Plus. There's no word yet as to whether it'll be coming to the iPhone 8 or iPhone X.
iOS 11.3 will also equip devs with a new and improved version of ARKit. The update to ARKit 1.5 means it's now able to recognise vertical surfaces such as walls and doors, as well as map objects that are irregular in shape, such as a circular table
"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," Apple explains.
"The view of the real world through the camera now has 50 per cent greater resolution and supports auto-focus for an even sharper perspective.
New Animoji will also be coming with Apple's spring update, including new bear, dragon, skull and lion, er, things, as will a new Business Chat feature for Messages that will let users chat directly with companies including Discover, Hilton, Lowe's and Wells Fargo. This likely will be a feature exclusive to the US at launch, but this has yet to be confirmed.
A new Health Records feature, that will let users keep all of their medical information in one place, will likely also be exclusive to users in the US.
Since installing the update, developers have outed another new feature, which will help customers avoid being scammed by fake iCloud sign-in windows, an issue brought to link by iOS dev Felix Krause last year. With this new feature, which is also coming to macOS, Apple will display a privacy icon when an Apple app or feature requests to use a person's information.
Krause applauded the move from Apple, saying on Twitter that he's "really excited to see security and privacy improvements."
If you have an Apple developer account, the iOS 11.3 preview is available today, and the free public beta preview will follow.
Once it sees a wider rollout in Spring this year, iOS 11.3 will be compatible with the iPhone 5S and later, all iPad Airs and iPad Pros, the fifth-generation iPad Mini 2 and later and the sixth-gen of the iPod Touch. µ
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