Apple may have just released iOS 11.2.5 to the general public, but the company is already looking forward to the next release of the operating system with a preview of iOS 11.3. Coming as a developer beta later today and a public beta later this week, the new update includes a whole suite of upgrades that we break down below.
For starters, Apple is updating its ARKit augmented reality platform. With version 1.5, AR apps will be able to recognize vertical objects such as walls and doors. Apps will also be able to recognize 2D objects as well. So if there’s a particular 2D object hanging vertically on a wall such as a picture, an augmented reality experience can emerge from it. Apple notes museums and movie posters can take advantage of this feature.
You’ll now also be able to enjoy 1080p AR experiences which weren’t previously possible.
In the iOS Messages app, Apple is also updating Animoji on the iPhone X with four new faces: a lion, bear, dragon, and skull. Business Chat, as previewed at WWDC 2017, is also finally making a proper public debut in beta form. With the feature, companies will be able to provide customer assistance and even let you buy merchandise right from within the Messages app. The first lineup of companies supporting the feature is Discover, Hilton, Lowe’s, and Wells Fargo. More should be added in the future.
The Health app is also seeing an upgrade in iOS 11.3 which allows you to see your medical data from various different sources such as hospitals and clinics. Your care provider will need to be a participant in Apple’s health data collection, but most are at this point so you shouldn’t face any compatibility issues.
Finally, possibly the most anticipated feature of iOS 11.3, you’ll now also be able to manage your battery and check to see if it needs service. This comes after Apple’s major conspiracy surrounding them deliberately slowing down older iPhones to avoid unexpected shutdowns or, as everyone else says, to get people to buy a new phone. With iOS 11.3, you’ll be able to both manage your phone’s battery and even be able to turn off performance throttling if you want the most speed out of your device. Devices that will support the feature include iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus. It’ll be available as a beta in a later build of the OS.
As a few additional tidbits, iOS 11.3 will also bring music videos to Apple Music, improvements to the News app such as a new Video group in For You, better security for HomeKit, and support for Advanced Mobile Location (AML) which will send your location to emergency services if you ever need to contact them.
Apple says iOS 11.3 will ship this spring to consumers.