Apple Seeds Sixth Beta of iOS 11.3 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]
Apple today seeded the sixth beta of an upcoming iOS 11.3 update to developers for testing purposes, four days after seeding the fifth beta and almost a month after the release of iOS 11.2.6, an update that addressed a bug causing iPhones and iPads to crash when a character from the Indian language Telugu was rendered improperly.
Registered developers can download the new 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.
iOS 11.3 is a major update that introduces a long list of new features, like Messages in iCloud for saving space and syncing messages across devices, and ARKit 1.5, a new version of ARKit able to more accurately map irregularly shaped surfaces, recognize images, and place objects on vertical surfaces like walls.
There are four new Animoji on the iPhone X (dragon, bear, skull, and lion), and in the Health app, there's a new Health Records feature that aggregates all of your medical records in one easy-to-access place.
As of iOS 11.3 beta 2, the update includes a new "Battery Health" feature that's designed to provide iOS users with more information about their batteries.
Battery Health offers details on maximum battery capacity and peak performance capability, and for devices with degraded batteries, it provides information on if and when a device is being throttled with performance management features. It also provides a way for customers who do have a device with a degraded battery to turn off performance management all together.
By default, iOS 11.3 disables performance management on the iPhone, and the feature is only re-enabled once a device experiences an unexpected shutdown.
Other features in iOS 11.3 include a "For You" section in Apple News that displays the top videos of the day, support for Advanced Mobile Location (AML) for more accurate location when placing an emergency call in a supported country, more information about app size in the Updates tap in the App Store, software authentication for HomeKit, and a new Privacy screen and icon that will show up whenever Apple asks you for info.
The privacy screen is reflected in several new splash screens that pop up when you first open apps. The App Store also now lets you sort reviews by most helpful, most favorable, most critical, and most recent, a handy change for better finding the app info you're looking for.
Business Chat, which will let you interface with businesses like Wells Fargo, Delta, Hilton and Lowe's right in the Messages app is coming when iOS 11.3 is released, and improvements to Apple Music will bring better support for music videos.
iOS 11.3 will be released to the public in the spring. Spring kicks off on March 20, so the public release of the update could be coming soon.
Update: iOS 11.3 beta 6 is also now available for public beta testers.