Apple has rolled out its next major iOS update that will be available for iPhone and iPad users to download and install now.
The update is the twelfth major update to iOS 11 and is the first major one to address the performance throttling criticism that Apple endured in December last year.
After it emerged the company was deliberately slowing down older iPhones to preserve battery life, iOS 11.3 lets users reverse that option with a new feature called “Battery Health”.
It aims to give users more information about how the battery in their iPhones are performing. It will give details on the maximum capacity and whether there’s any performance throttling in place. And, if a user wants to, they will now have the option to turn off performance throttling.
By default, the performance management is switched off and only put it place when the iPhone experiences an unexpected shutdown.
Apple said: “Users can now see if the power management feature that dynamically manages maximum performance to prevent unexpected shutdowns, first introduced in iOS 10.2.1, is on and can choose to turn it off.”
Alongside the usual tweaks to performance and security updates there are a couple of other smaller features that users might find helpful.
Inside Apple News is a new “For You” section that offers up curated news and videos that it thinks you may life. There’s also a new music video section in Apple Music. And it’s also now possible to sort reviews of apps in the App Store by most favourable, most critical or most recent.
Apple has also made a number of changes when it comes to augmented reality (AR), although these are most likely to be used by app developers rather than users.
The latest version of ARKit allows developers to “place digital objects on vertical surfaces like walls and doors in addition to horizontal surfaces”.
It also adds support for detecting and incorporating images like movie posters or artwork into AR experiences and supports a higher resolution real world camera view when using AR experiences. What this means in practice is that games and apps using the ARKit framework will become more immersive and practical.
Animoji – animated emoji that mimic the user’s voice and facial expressions – have also been given an update, in the form of four new characters.
Apple said: “iOS 11.3 introduces four new Animoji, giving iPhone X users the ability to express themselves as a lion, bear, dragon or skull.
“Working with the A11 Bionic chip and TrueDepth camera in iPhone X, over 50 different facial muscle movements are captured, analyzed and then animated, allowing users to send Animoji messages as one of 16 different characters.”
In an attempt to make it easier to keep track of your health, Apple has also updated the Health app, so users can store their records from hospitals and clinics if they want.
Apple said: “Patients from participating medical institutions will have information from various institutions organised into one view and receive regular notifications for their lab results, medications, conditions and more. Health Records data is encrypted and protected with a passcode.”
How to download iOS 11.3
If you haven’t already downloaded the new update to your iPhone or iPad, here’s how to do it.
Go to Settings icon on your homescreen and click General.
Scroll down to Software Update and hit confirm.
Eligible devices include every iPhone from the iPhone 5s upwards and every iPad from the iPad mini 2 and later.
Apple said: “iOS 11.3 delivers exciting new immersive augmented reality experiences, new Animoji for iPhone X users, access to personal health records in the Health app and more.
“This free software update also offers customers more visibility into the battery health and performance of their iPhone.”