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Apple releases iOS 11.3, the largest update for iPhones since launching iOS 11

Today, Apple released iOS 11.3 for all supported devices, including iPad Air and later, the iPad mini 2 and above, the iPhone 5S and up, and the sixth generation iPod touch. The update is now available for download in the supported regions.

With some new features, it's probably the biggest iOS update since iOS 11. iOS 11.3 addresses battery-based performance throttling on older devices, adds advanced features to its advanced features, and offers the ability to engage with enterprise support staff in messages chat and allows users to access their personal health information in the health app.

Apple has also released minor updates for tvOS (tvOS 1

1.3) on Apple TV and watchOS (watchOS 4.3). Let's see what each of these updates adds to users.

Battery Health

As promised, Apple has made it possible to disable performance throttling on older iPhones, whose batteries have been depleted to pose a risk of unexpected shutdowns due to voltage bottlenecks. Apple lists this as a beta feature.

In the Settings app, there is now a section nested under "Battery" called "Battery Health." If you see this on a cell phone with a battery Apple looks healthy, it will only briefly explain some key concerns with iPhone batteries, along with a link to a website that goes into more detail. A value for "maximum capacity" will also be displayed. This value is a percentage.

Apple explains it this way:

This is a measure of battery capacity compared to when it was new. Lower capacity may result in fewer hours between charges.

There is a section titled "High Performance" in this settings screen. If your phone has never been shut down unexpectedly due to low battery, it simply says, "Your battery is currently supporting normal peak performance." However, if the battery has dropped to a low enough capacity, that copy will be displayed instead:

This iPhone shut down unexpectedly because the battery failed to deliver the required peak performance. Performance Management was used to prevent this from happening again.

Also displayed is an option to disable the power management feature, which annoyed iPhone owners. You also learn that you can upgrade the battery to completely solve the problem:

The condition of your battery is significantly affected. An Apple Authorized Service Provider can replace the battery to restore full performance and capacity.

In particular, performance management is disabled until the phone shuts down unexpectedly for the first time. It is not simply activated by a maximum capacity that is below a certain value, and you can not turn it on until you have encountered the problem.

The notice about the authorized Apple service provider intended to handle a consumer complaint Apple was not transparent with users about the option to update the battery – this complaint is the key in the class action lawsuits, in response to the controversy over performance management , which began last December, as Reddit users and the Dev benchmark app Geekbench confirmed that iOS throttled the performance of low-power devices.

Apple does not offer this feature on iPads, but this update adds a new iPad feature called "Fee Management." The update notes say it "keeps battery health when iPad is connected to power for extended periods of time, such as when used in kiosks, point-of-sale systems, or stored in self-loading wagons."

ARKit 1.5

19659021] ARKit is Apple's programming interface for augmented reality. Apple unveiled ARKit at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) last year. The framework treats some of the heavier, lower-level features for augmented reality, allowing developers to focus on customizing their experience and content.

Previously, ARKit could only place objects on flat, horizontal planes, which could restrict application developers. With ARKit 1.5, developers can now place objects on vertical layers, such as walls, and accuracy is improved when objects are mapped to surfaces that are not completely flat.

In addition, image recognition features are added. For example, an AR app could display a full size robot when a poster for an associated robot movie is seen from the camera of the phone, or it could provide an additional context in a museum when a particular painting is seen. Apple praises a "more realistic, higher-resolution camera view when using AR experiences," and autofocus is now also supported in AR views.

AR is a major focus of Apple this year; It was the subject of many comments by the company's top executives about their strategy and new initiatives, and many of the key additions and updates on the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X – all released late last year – were focused in the preparation of the Work for improved AR experiences, either with new sensors or improved performance.

Tim Cook said he believes AR will be a watershed for the App Store as soon as AR developers find their step. The app intelligence company Sensor Tower has recently estimated that apps based on ARKit have been downloaded 13 million times since the first release of iOS 11. Half of these apps are games, but Pokémon Go and some other popular AR apps are not included in these numbers because they are not based on ARKit for all or part of the reporting period.

New Animojis

This update also adds four new Animoji for the iPhone X: a skeleton, a lion, a dragon and a bear – not to be confused with the existing panda bear Animoji. They are shown below. These new animoji do not add new features; They are just new skins for the TrueDepth-based iPhone X-exclusive feature.

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