Apple Seeds First Beta of iOS 10.3 With 'Find My AirPods' to Developers

Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming iOS 10.3 update to developers, marking the third major update to the iOS 10 operating system that was released in September. The first iOS 10.3 beta comes more than a month after the release of iOS 10.2.

Registered developers can download the new iOS 10.3 beta from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air with the proper configuration profile installed.

ios-10-3-beta
As a 10.x update, iOS 10.3 likely brings bug fixes, performance improvements, and new features to iOS 10. While we won't know what's in the update until developers begin discovering changes, it is rumored to include a new "Theatre" mode with a "popcorn-shaped" icon in the Control Center.

What the rumored Theatre mode does is unclear, but should it be included in iOS 10.3, we'll find out its purpose soon enough. We'll update this post with new features that are found in the update.

Update: Apple has shared release details with several sites, outlining features that are included in the update. While the main feature is a new "Find My AirPods" option, there are also several smaller updates.

What's new in iOS 10.3:

- There's a new "Find My AirPods" tool to help users locate lost AirPods.
- SiriKit can be used to pay bills, check on the status of payments, and schedule future rides.
- The weather icon in the Maps app includes 3D Touch to show hourly forecasts.
- CarPlay includes new shortcuts for launching recently used apps.
- CarPlay's Maps now features EV charging station locations.
- HomeKit supports programmable light switches.
- Conversation View in the Mail app features navigation improvements.
- When installing iOS 10.3, it will update the file system to Apple File System (APFS), so it's important to make a backup before updating.

Top Rated Comments

CarlJ Avatar
50 months ago
Wow, eleven comments in and no posts yet explaining how this indicates the imminent downfall of Apple. That's kind of refreshing.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
waterskier2007 Avatar
50 months ago
This seems like a pretty big deal (from the release notes):

When you update to iOS 10.3, your iOS device will update its file system to Apple File System (APFS). This conversion preserves existing data on your device. However, as with any software update, it is recommended that you create a backup of your device before updating.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lunarworks Avatar
50 months ago

Apple File System? What? What? What? Apple made a file system? So A, M, S, W, T chips. San Francisco font. Swift language, and now a file system? When will the Apple gimmick train end? Bigger battery, Cupertino. Are you morons listening? Bigger. Battery. Thicker. Phone. Innovation.

People who actually understand operating systems have been begging for a new file system for more than a decade.

They almost went with ZFS, but it became a big problem when Oracle bought Sun.

Also, anyone complaining about Apple's custom chips needs a good kick in the head. They're the best mobile chips around.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tubamajuba Avatar
50 months ago

theater mode is apparently still missing according to CNET
[doublepost=1485281257][/doublepost]
wow. no theater mode. this indicates the imminent downfall of apple

Who cares about theater mode? I have had *insert obscure problem here* for two years now, and Apple won't make *insert dream computer here*, so Apple is doomed, Tim Cook should be fired, and I'm buying an Android phone. But I'll stick around to remind everybody why I don't like Apple anymore.

*ahem*

iOS 10.3 may not add much, but the SiriKit improvements look interesting.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rodrigo_pereira Avatar
50 months ago

Can anyone theorize if older devices using the A5 chip (iPhone 5, iPad 4) would benefit from APFS?

There are couple of things we need to consider first to answer your question:

1. APFS in terms of I/O (that is - input-output, read and write data) focuses on improving foreground apps and tasks. It is reasonable to think that background tasks can wait a bit longer to read or write data they need.

2. It doesn’t make processor or graphic processor to handle more task or make them faster.

3. Apps are multithreaded - if app is made along Object-C or Swift guidelines - UI - user interface - is main thread and background tasks are secondary thread (i.e. on slow connection the app you are using downloads data, but user interface is still responsive and probably shows some indicator that data are being downloaded, you can easily switch from one tab to another).

4. Open/save file: with APFS it is possible to do atomic updates - which mean: app is saving only changes to a file or load from a file only things that have changed, not the whole file.

With all that considered: performance gain with APFS would be from reading data needed by foreground app first, using less bandwidth (connection between CPU, RAM, and flash memory) while loading and saving data, postponing some disk operations that are requested by background processes.

To sum it up: you should see some improvements in situations like scrolling through conversation in imessage, saving changes to modified picture, opening files.

(Obviously, sorry for my lousy english, it’s not even my third language)
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Watabou Avatar
50 months ago

Can someone tell more about new filesystem? How it's compared to present one in terms of security and performance?

You can read a pretty good overview here: https://www.backblaze.com/blog/apfs-apple-file-system/

And if you want to get nerdy: ArsTechnica ('http://arstechnica.com/apple/2016/06/a-zfs-developers-analysis-of-the-good-and-bad-in-apples-new-apfs-file-system/') and Apple's official documentation ('https://developer.apple.com/library/content/documentation/FileManagement/Conceptual/APFS_Guide/Introduction/Introduction.html').

I was thinking they would hold off until iOS 11 to show off APFS, didn't know it was already ready!
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

0 Deals Hero

Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Deals to Plan For

Saturday November 21, 2020 10:00 am PST by
In the lead-up to Black Friday next week, we've been putting a spotlight on the best deals coming from various retailers like Best Buy and Walmart. In an effort to further prepare our readers for the best Black Friday deals, we're breaking down what we think should be on your radar for Black Friday in 2020. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
2020 apple shopping event

Apple Offering Up to $150 Gift Card With Select Products on Black Friday Through Cyber Monday

Monday November 23, 2020 2:53 am PST by
Apple has announced its annual four-day shopping event, offering customers up to a $150 Apple Store gift card with the purchase of select products between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States. The gift card values in the United States are as follows: $150 for 16-inch MacBook Pro $150 for 21.5-inch iMac $50 for 13-inch MacBook Pro $50 for MacBook Air $50 for iPhone SE,...
m1 mac mini vignette

Apple Lists M1-Based Mac Mini Logic Boards With 10 Gigabit Ethernet in Internal Parts Ordering System

Friday November 20, 2020 9:32 am PST by
While the new Mac mini with the M1 chip is only available with Gigabit Ethernet, Apple has listed multiple M1-based Mac mini logic boards with 10 Gigabit Ethernet in an internal parts list for Apple Authorized Service Providers. For every Mac mini logic board with Gigabit Ethernet in the parts list, obtained by MacRumors, there is a corresponding logic board with 10 Gigabit Ethernet:...
ipad pro 2020 display

Black Friday Week Kicks Off With Up to $150 Savings on 2020 iPad Pro

Sunday November 22, 2020 2:37 pm PST by
As we head into Black Friday week, we're seeing some of the best deals of the season so far, with Amazon and Best Buy today discounting the latest iPad Pro models by up to $150 at the lowest prices we've ever tracked on these models. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep ...
macos big sur m1 macs restore issue

Apple Provides Instructions to Fix macOS Reinstallation Errors on M1 Macs

Sunday November 22, 2020 3:30 pm PST by
Shortly after the launch of Apple's new M1 Macs, we saw reports that attempts to restore and reinstall macOS on those machines right away could result in an installation error that would leave your Mac non-functional. Specifically, the error message would read: "An error occurred preparing the update. Failed to personalize the software update. Please try again." Over the weekend, Apple p...
iPhone 6s main

Rumor Claims iOS 15 to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and Original iPhone SE

Sunday November 22, 2020 9:25 am PST by
Apple will drop support for the iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus in next year's release of iOS 15, according to a rumor shared today by Israeli site The Verifier. If the rumor is accurate, that would mean iOS 15 will be compatible with the following Apple devices: 2021 iPhone series iPhone 12 Pro Max iPhone 12 Pro iPhone 12 mini iPhone 12 iPhone 11 iPhone 11 Pro iPhone 11 Pro ...
new m1 chip

Craig Federighi: Native Windows on M1 Macs is 'Really up to Microsoft'

Friday November 20, 2020 11:57 am PST by
Following the release of the M1 Macs Apple executives have been doing interviews with a range of publications, and today, Ars Technica published another interview with software engineering chief Craig Federighi, hardware technologies lead Johny Srouji, and marketing VP Greg Joswiak. Much of the interview focuses on topics that the three have already covered in prior discussions, but there is ...
Walmart November Deals Hero

Black Friday Spotlight: Walmart Will Have AirPods Pro Down to Lowest Price of $169, and More Apple Deals

Thursday November 19, 2020 8:05 am PST by
We've been tracking early Black Friday deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, and in an effort to prepare our readers for the big shopping event we're highlighting sales store-by-store in the lead-up to November 27. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Walmart. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Next ...
xlK6MS4MLqVFaskl

iFixit Shares iPhone 12 Pro Max Teardown Revealing L-Shaped Battery and Bigger Camera Module

Sunday November 22, 2020 2:53 am PST by
In the last of its iPhone 12 series teardowns, iFixit has published its iPhone 12 Pro Max disassembly, which reveals some unique differences in the design of the internals, including the full extent of the larger camera system responsible for the improved low-light performance on Apple's largest iPhone to date. On opening the iPhone 12 Pro Max, the first obvious difference compared to the...
apple leather sleeve

Leather Sleeve for iPhone 12 Models Now Available From Apple

Friday November 20, 2020 12:16 pm PST by
Apple today began selling the Leather Sleeve for the new iPhone 12 models, with the accessory having first been announced alongside the updated iPhones in October. Priced at $129, the Leather Sleeve is not a case and is designed to be removed when the iPhone is in use. It features a cutout at the front that displays the time, and it comes with a matching leather strap. According to Apple, it ...