Apple has distributed the first beta release of the upcoming iOS 11.3 update to paid developers. It appears shortly after iOS 11.2.5, an update that focused primarily on bug fixes and security enhancements.
Paying developers can now download the beta version of iOS 11.3 through the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air, Once the appropriate configuration profile has been installed in the Developer Center.
iOS 11.3 includes four new Animoji characters for the iPhone X, including a lion, a bear, a dragon, and a skull This feature was previously released in iOS 11, but was then removed, saving users’ message history on the web and synchronizing it between all its devices.
The software update provides new ARKit tools for developers. With the new ARKit 1.5, the technology detects and places virtual objects on vertical surfaces and can more accurately detect irregularly shaped surfaces. ARKit is able to detect the position of signs, posters and images and integrate them into AR scenes. Thus, e.g. Museums filled with interactive exhibits or a movie poster come to life. The real view through the camera when using AR provides a 50 percent higher resolution (1080p) in ARKit 1.5 and supports autofocus.
Business Chat, a feature first introduced in iOS 11, officially launches in the spring of 2018, with support from companies such as Discover, Hilton, Lowe’s and Wells Fargo. Users can conduct customer support chats with these companies in the Messages application. Of course, this will be expanded in the future.
In the Health App, Apple adds a new Health Records feature to make it easier for customers with a participating medical facility to directly access their data in the iPhone, even if These medical data are distributed across multiple providers. Of course, this only happens with the consent of the user. So far, only US clinics are involved in this collaboration.
Not yet included in this beta release of iOS 11.3 is information about the battery health of the device. This is to be followed later and is the consequence of the throttling affair, Apple had to cope with the turn of the year. This power management feature reduced the clock speed of the processors without the knowledge of the user when a worn out battery was detected. The throttling feature is now to be disabled.
Other new features in iOS 11.3 include support for streaming ad-free music videos in Apple Music, a new “For You” video of the day in the Apple News, a new HomeKit software authentication to make it easy for accessory manufacturers to incorporate HomeKit into existing devices, and support for Advanced Mobile Location (AML), which automatically sends a user’s current location when making an emergency call. This feature is not supported everywhere.
The current Beta 1 is limited to developers, but Apple announced that there will soon be a version for public beta testers.