Apple Seeds First Beta of iOS 11.3 to Developers With New Animoji, Business Chat, Health Records, iCloud Messages and More

Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming iOS 11.3 update to developers, one week after releasing iOS 11.2.5, an update that focused primarily on bug fixes and security improvements.

Registered developers can download the iOS 11.3 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center.

ios113beta
Apple this morning shared a preview of iOS 11.3, outlining all of the new features we can expect to see in the update.

iOS 11.3 will bring four new Animoji characters to the iPhone X, like a lion, bear, dragon, and skull, giving iPhone X users new characters to play with, and it reintroduces iCloud Messages, a feature that was removed from the initial iOS 11 release.

new animoji 11
The software update includes improved ARKit tools for developers. ARKit 1.5 can recognize and place virtual objects on vertical surfaces and it can more accurately map irregularly shaped surfaces like circular tables. ARKit is able to recognize the position of 2D images like signs, posters, and artwork, integrating them into AR experiences. Museums, for example, can be filled with interactive exhibits or a movie poster can be brought to life. The real-world view through the camera when using AR also offers 50 percent greater resolution (1080p) in ARKit 1.5 and supports auto-focus.

Apple AR Experience 01232018
Business Chat, a feature that first debuted in iOS 11, is officially launching in beta capacity this spring with support from businesses like Discover, Hilton, Lowe's, and Wells Fargo. You'll be able to have customer support chats with these companies right within the Messages app.

business chat
In the Health app, Apple is adding a new Health Records feature to make it easier for customers with a participating medical institution to access their records right on their iPhone, even when those medical records are spread across multiple providers.

health records ios 11
Supported providers include Johns Hopkins Medicine, Cedars-Sinai, Penn Medicine, Geisinger Health System, UC San Diego Health - San Diego, California, UNC Health Care , Rush University Medical Center, Dignity Health, Ochsner Health System, MedStar Health, Ohio Health, and Cerner Healthe Clinic.

A later beta of iOS 11.3 will feature new, more detailed information about the health of a device's battery. The change comes following controversy over power management features implemented in older devices to prevent unexpected shutdowns. Those power management features throttle iPhones with degraded batteries at times of peak power usage to maintain stable performance.

The update should provide a lot more data about battery health, and there will also be an option to let customers turn off the power management feature entirely, though Apple does not recommend disabling it. The new features can be found in Settings --> Battery and are available for iPhone 6 and later.

Other new features included in iOS 11.3 include support for streaming unlimited music videos in Apple Music without ads, a new "For You" video of the day in Apple News along with improved Top Stories, HomeKit software authentication to make it easier for accessory makers to add HomeKit support into existing devices, support for Advanced Mobile Location (AML) to automatically send a user's current location when making a call to emergency services in supported countries, a new name for "iBooks," which is now just "Books," and an update to the App Store updates page, which now shows the version number and download size of all updates.

Today's beta is limited to developers, but Apple says a public beta will be released for public beta testers soon.

Top Rated Comments

obitow Avatar
46 months ago
Messages in iCloud

Attachment Image
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Goldfrapp Avatar
46 months ago
Waiting for Messages in iCloud is like waiting for Copy Paste for two years (even though never promised)

Ah, the memories...
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
C DM Avatar
46 months ago
Any word on the possible dark mode that was rumored for 11.3?
Doesn't really seem like anything like that was rumored.

Maybe Apple can come out with "iOS Professional" version where is leaves out all this emoji, Animoji, iMessage stickers apps, etc.
I believe that's just called not using those things.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
McFreggle Avatar
46 months ago
The .3 releases are lately the bigger, better ones.

Although they should stop this silly game where there needs to be a major new version every year. Quality seems to suffer from it. Just give us 11.4 in May, and announce 11.5 on WWDC in June. iPhone 11 can ship with iOS 11.6 or whatever they want to call it.

Same goes for macOS.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DNichter Avatar
46 months ago
Messages in iCloud has been reserved for iOS 20 as a groundbreaking revolutionary magical feature
It's in this beta
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chucker23n1 Avatar
46 months ago
Eh same reason Force Touch only came to 6S (because “hardware” limited it from the 6). Sure it probably could be used on other devices (like the app you mentioned) but Apple has always had a habit of limiting features to the newest devices because: business and marketing.
Errrrr. How would you implement 3D Touch without hardware support?

And while you can achieve some level of face tracking with a camera, which every iPhone since the 4 has had, the X adds infra-red and can thus make a 3D model of your face, making the tracking far more accurate. Hence Animoji working far better.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Pro Display XDR Yella

Apple Working on External Display With Built-In A13 Chip

Friday July 23, 2021 9:37 am PDT by
Apple is developing an external display that includes an A13 chip with Neural Engine, according to a new rumor from 9to5Mac. The A13 chip with Neural Engine would presumably serve as an eGPU, though details are light at this time. Having a CPU/GPU built into the external display could help Macs deliver high-resolution graphics without using all the resources of the computer's internal chip....
iOS 14 on iPhone feature emergency

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 With Fix for Touch ID Apple Watch Bug

Monday July 26, 2021 9:48 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1, minor bug fix updates that come just a week after the release of iOS 14.7, software that introduced new Apple Card features and support for the MagSafe Battery Pack. The iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to...
discount m1 macbook yellow

Deals: Shop Record Low Prices Across Apple's Full MacBook Pro and MacBook Air Lineup (Up to $499 Off)

Friday July 23, 2021 8:23 am PDT by
Apple's MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lineup is seeing all-time low discounts across the board today, including the 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro, 2020 13-inch MacBook Air, and 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro. 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 the site running. 13-Inch M1...
iphone 12 pro gold

Report: iPhone 14 Pro Models to Feature Tough Titanium Alloy Chassis

Monday July 26, 2021 1:12 am PDT by
Next year's "iPhone 14" series is expected to feature high-end models with a new titanium alloy chassis design, claims a new investors report by JP Morgan Chase. According to the report, the use of titanium alloy will be one of the biggest changes to the case design in the 2022 iPhone series, and Foxconn will be the exclusive manufacturer of the titanium frames for the high-end models....
FaceID iMac REREREREMIX

Gurman: Face ID on the Mac Coming Within a 'Couple of Years'

Sunday July 25, 2021 7:09 am PDT by
Apple plans to bring Face ID to the Mac within the next "couple of years," respected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman said today in the latest edition of his Power On newsletter. In the newsletter, Gurman says that he believes Apple's ultimate goal is to shift all of its products to Face ID, including the lower-end iPhones such as the iPhone SE and the iPad Air, which feature Touch ID....
airpods 3 gizmochina Feature

AirPods 3 Rumored to Launch Alongside iPhone 13 at Expected September Event

Friday July 23, 2021 12:54 am PDT by
The third-generation AirPods will likely launch at the same event revealing Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup, according to a report from DigiTimes, which makes the claim citing sources familiar with the matter. The report as a whole echoes previous reporting that production of the third-generation AirPods will kickstart in August, meaning a launch shortly after can be easily expected. DigiTi...
imac with accessories

Larger Redesigned High-End iMac Rumored to Launch Next Year

Monday July 26, 2021 3:45 am PDT by
Apple's larger redesigned iMac will arrive sometime in 2022 rather than later this year, according to the leaker known as "Dylandkt." On Twitter, Dylandkt claimed that Apple's "high end iMac" is not expected to release in the fourth quarter of 2021 alongside Apple's "M1X Macs" – a reference to Apple's redesigned MacBook Pro models – because "Apple simply does not want their devices to...
apple bitcoin hack

Is Apple Really Buying Bitcoin?

Monday July 26, 2021 3:07 am PDT by
A large number of websites and posts on social media are stoking rumors that Apple has purchased $2.5 billion worth of bitcoin in the company's first move into cryptocurrency, but is there any validity to the claims? Many people are citing the fact that Apple was looking for a Business Development Manager with experience in alternative payments, including cryptocurrency, earlier this year as ...
apple mac business page

Apple Shares 11 Reasons Why Business Users Should Choose Macs

Monday July 26, 2021 11:35 am PDT by
Apple today updated its Apple at Work website with a new section dedicated to the Mac, which offers up 11 reasons why "Mac means business." On the webpage, Apple highlights the M1 chip as the number one reason why business users should choose a Mac, offering up an M1 overview [PDF] that explains the benefits of the M1 chip. The information isn't new, but it does provide a look at all of...
magsafe battery pack iphone 12 mini

Top Stories: Hands-On With MagSafe Battery Pack, iPhone 13 Always-On Display?

Saturday July 24, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's new MagSafe Battery Pack is now available, and we went hands-on this week for some early impressions of the new accessory to get more battery life out of Apple's iPhone 12 lineup. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. This week also saw a number of rumors about the upcoming redesigned MacBook Pro models, the iPhone 13 lineup, the next-generation iPad mini, a new...