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Apple iOS 11.3: The top features of the latest update

Apple on Wednesday announced iOS 11.3, the new update to its mobile operating system. The latest iOS iteration comes with a range of new features including the ability to disable Apple’s processor throttle that allegedly slows down older iPhones with worn out batteries.

Apart from the processor throttle, iOS 11.3 brings updates to Augmented Reality platform (ARKit) and iMessages as well. Although Apple will release the stable version of iOS 11.3 this spring, you can still use a public beta version. In order to use the beta version, you will need to enroll your device into Apple’s Beta Software Programme. iOS 11.3 is also available for developers under the iOS Developer Programme.

The stable update will be available for iPhone 5s and later, iPad Air and iPad Pro, iPad 5th generation, iPad mini 2 and later and iPod touch 6th generation.

Let’s take a look at the top features that the software update comes with :

Business Chat

Similar to the recently launched WhatsApp for Business app, Apple is introducing ‘Business Chat’ via iOS 11.3. Through this feature, users will be able to chat with businesses on iMessages. Additionally, users can schedule appointments and make purchases using Apple Pay on Business Chat. Business Chat currently supports Discover, Hilton, Lowe’s and Wells Fargo.

Animoji

With iOS 11.3, Apple has introduced four new Animoji characters bringing the total to 16. iPhone X users will now be able to create Animoji videos in four new characters of lion, bear, dragon and skull.

ARKit

Apple had introduced the ARKit platform to bring OS-level support for Augmented Reality applications and services. The platform had debuted with iOS 11. The latest update will allow ARKit to recogise objects like tables and chairs placed on vertical surfaces, and also detect irregularly shaped objects.

Health Records

On iOS 11.3, the Health app will have a new feature called Health Records. Here, users can store their medical data linked with supported clinics and hospitals. Health Records will also notify users for lab results, medications, and conditions. All data stored under Health Records will be encrypted and protected with a passcode.

Battery optimisation

As promised by CEO Tim Cook earlier this month, Apple will be including a dedicated power management feature in the latest iOS version. Available for iPhone 6 and above, this feature will show the iPhone’s battery health and also alert users if the battery needs to be replaced. Apple will also allow users to see if the power management feature is turned on, and choose to turn it off. This feature which was introduced in iOS 10.2.1 manages “maximum performance to prevent unexpected shutdowns.”

Apple Music, News

Apple’s music streaming platform, Apple Music, will now have a big catalogue of videos as well. Users will be able to stream these videos without any ads, a move that could give Apple an edge over the popular video sharing platform YouTube.

Apple Music will also have dedicated music video playlists for users.

Apple News also comes with a set of new features for videos. Users will find a new Video group in the ‘For You’ section. Top Stories section will also be improved on iOS 11.3.

Additional features

Developers will now be able to add HomeKit support to existing accessories with iOS 11.3 update. Countries where Advanced Mobile Location (AML) is available, iOS 11.3 will send the user’s location while making calls to emergency services.

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