Apple today previewed all-new battery and CPU throttling features and other enhancements coming to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch this spring with iOS 11.3. Registered developers and members of the paid Apple Developer Program can now install the iOS 11.3 beta and test-drive the new features.
The iOS 11.3 developer beta has a build number of 15E5167f.
Unfortunately, the two most eagerly anticipated features—battery health and the new power management capability that dynamically manages maximum CPU performance to prevent unexpected shutdowns—are not available in this beta and will be coming in a later iOS 11.3 beta release.
To install the beta, install an appropriate Apple configuration profile for your iOS device from the company’s portal for developers, then restart the device and go to Settings → General → Software Update to install the iOS 11.3 beta over the air.
iOS 11.3 will bring the following new features:
- Battery health & power management—Users can go to Settings → Battery to check out battery health, see if the battery needs to be serviced or turn off the new power management feature that dynamically manages maximum CPU performance to prevent unexpected shutdowns that was first introduced in iOS 10.2.1. Battery health and service recommendations are available for iPhone 6 and later. CPU throttling is available for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Both features will be coming in a later iOS 11.3 beta release.
- 4 new Animoji—The Messages app brings four new animated 3D characters to spice up your conversations and Animoji karaoke videos—a lion, dragon, bear and skull—for a total of 16 different Animoji characters capable of tracking your facial expressions.
- ARKit improvements—ARKit 1.5 is now available to developers with several enhancements, including the ability to recognize and place virtual objects on vertical surfaces like walls and doors. ARKit also boosts your view of the real world through the camera with 50 percent greater resolution and support for auto-focus for an even sharper perspective.
- Expanded health record integration—Access your encrypted medical records from multiple providers in one place within the Health app, receive notifications for lab results, medications and much more.
- Business Chat—Announced at WWDC 2017, a new Business Chat feature allows users to communicate directly with businesses, as well as schedule an appointment or make purchases using Apple Pay, right within the stock Messages app.
- Apple Music—You will soon be able to stream all the ad-free music videos you want in the Music app. Watch the latest videos, the classics or ones from your favorite artists back-to-back in new music video playlists.
- Apple News—Stay up-to-date on the most important videos of the day with a new Video group in the For You section and enjoy improved Top Stories.
- HomeKit software authentication—Without requiring a special chip from Apple, accessory makers can now add HomeKit support to existing accessories with a simple firmware update.
- Advanced Mobile Location (AML)—iOS 11.3 can automatically send your current location when making a call to emergency services in countries where AML is supported.
As mentioned, this is a developer-focused preview of iOS 11.3. If you’re not a member of Apple’s iOS Developer Program, you won’t be able to install the beat on your device. Apple also cautions that ”not all features will be in the beta releases.”
The general public will get a chance to test-drive the new iOS 11.3 features when a public beta preview is made available at beta.apple.com. We expect the iOS 11.3 public beta to arrive later this week. Apple usually releases public betas 24-48 hours following their developer release.
iOS 11.3 will release sometime this spring as a free software update for iPhone 5s and later, all iPad Air and iPad Pro models, the fifth-generation iPad, iPad mini 2 and later and the sixth-generation iPod touch.