Apple Previews iOS 11.3 With ARKit 1.5, New Animoji for iPhone X, Detailed Battery Health, More

Apple today previewed iOS 11.3 ahead of its release in spring this year. The upcoming update to iOS 11 will introduce new augmented reality features along with a new set of Animoji on the iPhone X, and more.

Apple first introduced ARKit with iOS 11 last year and with iOS 11.3, it is releasing ARKit 1.5 to developers. The company says that the upcoming version of ARKit will allow developers to create “even more immersive AR experiences” by recognizing and placing virtual objects on vertical surfaces. It would also be able to track irregular surfaces like circular tables more accurately.

ARKit 1.5 will also be able to recognize 2D images like signs, posters, and artwork and integrate them into AR experiences.

iOS 11.3 will also introduce a four new Animoji on the iPhone X. This includes a lion, bear, dragon, and a skull.

With iOS 11.3, Apple will be introducing a beta version of Business Chat that will allow businesses to communicate directly with customers within Messages. Initially, businesses like Discover, Hilton, Lowe’s, and Wells Fargo will support Business Chat and allow customers to make payments using Apple Pay, schedule an appointment, and more.

The Health app in iOS 11 is also getting an update with the introduction of Health Records. It will allow a patient to see their data from multiple health institutions at a glance.

Patients from participating medical institutions will have information from various institutions organised into one view and receive regular notifications for their lab results, medications, conditions and more. Health Records data is encrypted and protected with a passcode.

iOS 11.3 will show the battery health and recommend if the battery needs to be serviced/replaced for iPhone 6 and later. iPhone 6 and higher owners will also be able to turn off the controversial power management feature that slows down older iPhones due to their aging batteries. Apple will be adding these features in a beta iOS 11.3 release later.

Other new features that will be a part of iOS 11.3 are as follows:

  • Apple Music 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.
  • Support for Advanced Mobile Location (AML) to automatically send a user’s current location when making a call to emergency services in countries where AML is supported.

Apple will be releasing the first beta of iOS 11.3 later today for developers and public beta testers. The final version of the OS is expected to be available in spring this year.