Tuesday, February 13, 2018

5 Things to Know About the iOS 11.3 Update

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Apple’s iOS 11.3 update will be a huge upgrade for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models capable of running iOS 11.

Apple recently pulled the iOS 11.2.5 update out of beta. The iOS 11.2.5 update is a maintenance update, but it comes with a couple of new features including support for the company’s HomePod speaker.

The company hasn’t confirmed an iOS 11.2.6 update which means iOS 11.3 could be next in line for iOS 11-powered iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches.

Unlike iOS 11.2.5, iOS 11.3 is a milestone upgrade. Apple’s milestone upgrades typically come with a longer list of features, bug fixes, enhancements, and patches and iOS 11.3 fits the bill.

In this guide we’ll take you through the most important things to know, right now, about the iOS 11.3 update, its changes, the iOS 11.3 release date, the iOS 11.3 beta, and the iOS 11.3 release time for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

iOS 11.3 Beta

If you don’t want to wait for the iOS 11.3 release date (and it’s probably several weeks away) you don’t have to. You can try the iOS 11.3 update on your device, for free, ahead of the official release.

Apple’s iOS 11.3 beta is available for paid developers and those in the Beta Software Program. The Beta Software Program is free though it requires an Apple ID.

If you’re interested in trying iOS 11.3 ahead of its official release, check out our pre-installation guide. It’ll help you avoid some common mistakes.

You’ll also want to check out our reasons to, and not to, install the iOS 11.3 beta for more information about the pros and cons of installing early software.

Pre-release software isn’t for everyone and the iOS 11.3 beta could cause major issues on your phone or tablet. Beta testers have already tracked down several annoying bugs and we expect the list to grow as more people decide to jump onto the software.

If you need help fixing an issue, we’ve put together a list of fixes for common iOS 11.3 beta problems. We’ve also released a guide to fixing bad iOS 11.3 battery life.

If you do decide to try the iOS 11.3 beta, you’ll want to report any issues you see to Apple. This way, Apple can improve the final version.

Apple says that the current beta (iOS 11.3 beta 2) doesn’t support the 6th-generation iPod touch. The company says support will return in a future iOS 11.3 beta.

The company also says users performing tethered updates or restores on the iPhone X need to use iTunes 12.7.3. The company says certain features, including Face ID, might not work as intended if users are on an older version of iTunes.

iOS 11.3 Release Date

Apple typically keeps iOS updates in beta for a few weeks so don’t expect an iOS 11.3 update to land in mid-February.

The company’s confirmed the iOS 11.3 release date for the “spring.” Spring in the United States starts on March 20th and runs through June 21st. Apple also promised to deliver this update in “early 2018” so don’t expect it to arrive in June.

Last year, Apple pushed the first iOS 10.3 beta to developers in late January ahead of a public release in late March. In 2016, Apple released the first iOS 9.3 beta in mid-January ahead of an official release in late March.

Both milestone updates arrived in and around the company’s semi-annual spring launch event. Rumors are pointing to a potential iPhone SE 2 launch this spring so we could see the iOS 11.3 release tie-in with new hardware.

For more on the iOS 11.3 release date, take a look at our list of tips. These will help you prepare yourself, and your device, for the big day.

iOS 11.3 Release Time

The exact iOS 11.3 release date is hard to pinpoint, but the iOS 11.3 release time isn’t.

Apple’s iOS 11.3 update will most likely arrive around 10AM Pacific on release day. iOS 11.3 betas for developers and public testers should also arrive around 10AM Pacific.

Apple typically releases new beta updates every 1-2 weeks though releases typically come faster once the company gets close to the final release date.

Here’s what the iOS 11.3 release time should like for other regions in the United States and countries around the world including Australia, India, and Japan:

  • Eastern – 1 PM

  • Central – 12 PM

  • Mountain – 11AM

  • London – 6 PM

  • Moscow – 9 PM

  • New Delhi – 10:30 PM

  • Shanghai – 1 AM

  • Tokyo – 2 AM

  • Melbourne – 3 AM

  • Auckland – 5 AM

What’s New in iOS 11.3

The iOS 11.3 release date is still weeks away, but we already know quite a bit about Apple’s next, and perhaps final, iOS 11 milestone upgrade.

Earlier this year, Apple promised to release “new features that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance.” iOS 11.3 will deliver these features to iPhone users.

Once iOS 11.3 goes live, you’ll be able to access new features to show battery health and also recommend if your battery needs to be serviced. These will be found in Settings > Battery and are available for iPhone 6 and later.

iOS 11.3 users will also be able to 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.”

This new feature will be found in Settings > Battery and is available for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

You can try these features out right now in the second iOS 11.3 beta.

iOS 11.3 will deliver brand new Augmented Reality (AR) experiences with improvements to the company’s ARKit solution. The update will bring ARKit 1.5 to developers and it can “recognize and place virtual objects on vertical surfaces like walls and doors, and can more accurately map irregularly shaped surfaces like circular tables.”

Apple’s confirmed four new Animojis for iPhone X users including a lion, a bear, a dragon, and a skull, a new Business Chat that allows users to communicate directly with businesses within Messages, AirPlay 2, Messages in iCloud, and health records in the Health app.

iOS 11.3’s also bringing a notable change to the iPhone X’s Face ID checkout on the App Store and Apple Pay. Now when you go to download a new application, you’ll see a “Confirm with Side Button” instruction with a graphic. This is Apple’s attempt to clarify a process that many users feel isn’t intuitive.

On iOS 11.3, you can sort App Store reviews on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. If you tap See All under the Ratings & Reviews section in the App Store, users running iOS 11.3 can sort reviews via four categories including Most Helpful, Most Favorable, Most Critical, and Most Recent:

  • Most Helpful: These reviews have received “Helpful” feedback from other users. iOS 11 users can choose between “Helpful” or “Not Helpful” by hard pressing the text bubble via 3D Touch.

  • Most Favorable: These are the reviews with the highest ratings.

  • Most Critical: These are the reviews with the lowest ratings.

  • Most Recent: This shows the reviews in reverse chronological order.

The iOS 11.3 update also comes with some other changes should be aware of. Here’s a running list of iOS 11.3 features from the beta:

  • Apple Music (iOS 11.3 users can stream all the music videos they want without being interrupted by ads).

  • Apple News (new Video group in For You, and improved Top Stories).

  • HomeKit software authentication for developers.

  • Support for Advanced Mobile Location (AML) to automatically send a user’s current location when making a call to emergency services in countries where AML is supported. (AML currently isn’t supported in the United States.)

  • A proper fix for the calculator bug that emerged in the iOS 11.2 release.

  • The ability for parents to approve purchases using Face ID on the iPhone X.

  • Maps now shows “Closing Soon” in yellow text and “Closed” in red text for Points of Interest.

  • Improved security with USB accessories. iOS now requires authentication once per week.

  • Safari 11.1.

  • A new “Welcome to App Store” splash with privacy icon.

  • A new “Welcome to the iTunes Store” splash with privacy icon.

  • Podcasts now have the ability to automatically play after selecting an episode.

  • New animations for voice dictation.

  • Wi-Fi Calling now deactivates when a device exhibits a strong (4 bars) cellular signal.

Developers digging into the iOS 11.3 beta have discovered evidence of a solution that will allow users to log into websites using their Apple ID (similar to Apple TV’s Single Sign-On feature) and huge changes to the Books app.

Apple is reportedly working on new icons for book categories including a new icon for the “Reading Now” feature. Developers have also found references to “Want to Read”, “Award Winners”, “Staff Picks” and “Rave Reviews”.

iOS 11.3 beta 2 also includes a brand new public development framework called ClassKit which is reportedly aimed at educational apps.

According to 9to5Mac, ClassKit will let developers “create student evaluation features, users will be able to answer questionnaires that will be automatically transmitted to teachers remotely via iCloud.”

iOS 11.3’s change log could change during beta testing, but we expect most of these features to emerge on board the official version of iOS 11.3 this spring.

For more on these changes, take a look at our iOS 11.3 walkthrough or have a look at our iOS 11.3 video walkthrough.

iOS 11.3 Jailbreak

Don’t expect an iOS 11.3 beta jailbreak.

The iOS 11 update has been jailbroken, but developers haven’t released anything for iOS 11.2, iOS 11.2.1, or iOS 11.2.5. The only way you can jailbreak a device running iOS 11 is if it’s running iOS 11.0-iOS 11.1.2. Unfortunately, there’s no way to downgrade to any of these.

Jailbreak developers typically don’t burn their jailbreaks on early pre-release software so those of you running early versions of iOS 11 should avoid the iOS 11.3 beta.

For more about the iOS 11 jailbreak, take a look at our roundup.

iOS 11.3 Release Date Tips & Tricks

Start Preparing for iOS 11.3

Start Preparing for iOS 11.3

The iOS 11.3 release date could be several weeks away, but that doesn’t mean you should sit on your hands. 

If you need to, use this time to cleanup the storage on your device. Go into your device’s storage and delete the files (photos, apps, etc) you no longer need. Cleaning up your device could also improve your device’s performance.

Now would also be a good time to start backing up the data stored on your device(s). If you don’t know where to start, you’ll want to dig into our guides covering iCloud backups and iTunes backups.

Make sure you track down all of your login information before the iOS 11.3 update arrives. Have your Apple ID/iCloud login and the login info for your important apps and services ready to go. iOS 11.3 could log you out of some of your apps and services. 

If you want to download the iOS 11.3 update right when its released, make sure your device has at least a 50% charge (or you’re near a charger) around 10AM Pacific Monday-Friday. (Same goes for iOS 11.3 beta updates.)

This might seem tedious, but a little prep work will help you avoid major problems before, and after, the iOS 11.3 update’s release. 

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