Apple previewed iOS 11.3 to the world on January 24, announcing the new software would arrive on supported devices sometime in the spring of 2018.
Update: Apple has officially seeded the first public beta of iOS 11.3 to public beta testers as well. As is par for the course with this type of staggered seed, this is the same software that developers were seeded yesterday. Public testers can see what’s new in iOS 11.3 in the post below.
If you are already part of the public beta program, simply open the Settings app, then go into General — Software Update and then follow the onscreen instructions. If you are not already part of the program want to be, you can sign up through this link.
The original article continues below.
Ahead of that public launch, Apple is seeding betas to prepare developers, and test the software ahead of its wide availability. Today, Apple officially seeded the first developer beta of iOS 11.3, which will likely be the first of many in the weeks ahead. As the company announced in late January, this newest version of iOS brings with it a variety of new features, including an updated version of ARKit, more Animoji for iPhone X owners, and much more.
To update to the newest beta seed, developers will need to have their test devices approved. iOS 11.3 beta 1 can be installed from the dedicated Apple developer portal. Subsequent beta seeds will be available directly as over-the-air (OTA) software updates on approved devices.
As far as what is new in iOS 11.3, here’s the brief breakdown:
- ARKit 1.5: With this update, developers will be able to make far more immersive experiences in apps that support augmented reality experiences. That includes recognizing physical surfaces, letting users put items on vertical objects (like a wall), and ARKit will be able to track more objects, including circular tables, more accurately. It will also support 2D objects.
- New Animoji: The four new Animoji are available for iPhone X owners, at least until Apple rolls out that particular feature to more devices. The four new entries are a lion, a bear, a dragon, and a skull.
- iMessage for Business: iMessage for Business will let users quickly chat with a specific organization, like a hardware store or bank, without providing any personal information unless specifically sent by the user. It will also let users pay for items via the secure mobile payment option, Apple Pay.
- Health data: iOS will privately secure even more health data with this launch. However, that data can also be shared with a variety of different medical services and providers.
- Battery health: Initially announced for an early 2018 launch, the battery health indicator will be available with iOS 11.3 in the spring. With it, owners of iPhone 6 devices or newer will be able to get battery health information, which will let them know if the battery needs to be replaced or not. It will also provide the ability to activate or deactivate Apple’s built-in throttling feature. This particular feature will be arriving in a subsequent beta build of iOS 11.3, and is not available in the first beta.
- Apple Music: The streaming service will soon be the home for music videos. Users can stream all the music videos they want without being interrupted by ads. They can also watch the hottest new videos, the classics or ones from their favourite artists back-to-back in new music video playlists.
- HomeKit: Software authentication provides a great new way for developers to add HomeKit support to existing accessories while protecting privacy and security.
- Advanced Mobile Location (AML): Automatically send a user’s current location when making a call to emergency services in countries where AML is supported.
- Messages in iCloud: After being removed in a late beta of iOS 11 last year, Apple has officially brought back “Messages in iCloud”. This will let users store messages, photos, and videos in iCloud to help clear up space on their device.
The first developer beta is available now. Apple has already confirmed that a corresponding public beta will also be launched soon, but no exact date has been provided.