iOS 9.3 has finally been released by Apple and should be ready to download to your devices including the new iPad Pro and iPhone 6S Plus if you’re part of the beta programme Apple offers. Here are all the key features you need to know about.
iOS 9.3 is the third major update to the operating system Apple has released since unleashing iOS 9 in September alongside the iPad Mini 4, Apple TV and iPhone 6S. Once it’s finished the beta it’ll be available to download for everyone for free.
If you’re wondering what exactly Apple has added this time around, we’re here to help. We’ve downloaded iOS 9.3 and hunted high and low for all the juicy goodies. Here’s what we’ve found.
The coolest feature that arrives with iOS 9.3 is Night Shift, and it’s very similar to a particular app called F.lux that was unceremoniously booted from the App Store last year. I guess we now know why.
Basically, Night Shift will alter the colours, temperature and brightness of your display as the day wears on. Apple says in its official release notes for iOS 9.3 that “Many studies have shown that exposure to bright blue light in the evening can affect your circadian rhythms and make it harder to fall asleep.
Night Shift uses your iOS device’s clock and geolocation to determine when it’s sunset in your location. Then it automatically shifts the colors in your display to the warmer end of the spectrum, making it easier on your eyes. In the morning, it returns the display to its regular settings. Pleasant dreams.”
This seems a pretty big new addition for iOS and we’re surprised Apple hasn’t left it longer – maybe iOS 9 or iOS X – before announcing it. We’ll be testing it over the next few days to see if it really is a competitor to the fantastic F.lux.
Apple’s native Notes app used to be pretty rubbish, but iOS 9 made it a real Evernote competitor. Now, iOS 9.3 brings TouchID and password support to the app.
This means you can store vital information – passwords, medical info, banking details – all in the app without worrying about prying eyes getting a look.
With the addition of TouchID, iOS 9 Notes becomes a sort of 1Password competitor.
Apple’s News app has been slowly improving since it was first released with iOS 9 (iOS 9.1 if you’re in the UK) and 9.3 continues that trend with a few nice features.
The For You section suggests trending topics and picks from Apple’s Editors’. Landscape view is no longer restricted to the iPad and the whole app has been ironed out to make it faster and quicker to load stories.
Often the forgotten app on iOS, Health has been ever so slightly improved in iOS 9.3. It now displays data gained from your Apple Watch so you don’t have to jump between two apps and the UI has been tweaked to make it easier to access the options.
Apple Music CarPlay integration improved
CarPlay is still finding its footing and there’s a long way to go before it really hits the primetime, that said it looks like Apple is keen to improve it wherever possible. Apple Music is now more feature rich – letting you search through New songs and the For You section, while the Nearby feature lets you quickly find restaurants, parking and petrol stations.
Features for education
Students can now use one iPad between multiple people, with each having their own account and there’s a brand-new classroom app for teachers to organise lessons, progress and classes.