Go Download iOS 11.3 Beta 6 Right Now
Apple has released iOS 11.3 Beta 6 to developers, bringing a handful of bug fixes and features changes, but more importantly drawing us one step closer to the final release. The download is available as an over-the-air update to any device already on the developer channel, so if that means you, go hit up the Settings app right now.
iOS 11.3 beta 6 is expected to bring new battery health features, along with new Animoji and ARKit improvements and the usual stability and security updates.
The iOS 11.3 betas have proven to be a goldmine so far. The first beta brought us a bunch of new features, including new Animoji, a version of ARKit, and some battery health data. iOS 11.3 beta 6 brought us new battery health features, including a toggle that lets users with older batteries disable the “performance enhancements” that got Apple in so much trouble. We’re still combing through the release notes to see if there are new features this week, or whether we’re just getting the dreaded stability improvements and bugfixes.
We’ve had a chance to play around extensively with the new features in iOS 11.3 betas already, so nothing in this new release should come as a surprise. The biggest change in iOS 11.3 beta 6 is the introduction of several battery health features, which are supposed to make customers happy about Apple’s battery-related performance throttling.
The new features are contained within a new “Battery Health” menu, which is under the “Battery” tab on iOS 11.3. The page only really has two fields: Maximum Capacity, which shows what percentage of the original charge your battery can still hold; and Peak Performance Capacity, which tells you if your phone’s performance is being throttled due to the battery.
On older devices with a worse battery, the phone will show a reduced Maximum Capacity, as well as detail any performance slowdowns due to the decreased battery capacity. On devices that have weaker batteries, the Peak Performance Capability will change to read “This iPhone has experienced an unexpected shutdown because the battery was unable to deliver the necessary peak power. Performance management has been applied to help prevent this from happening again.” A small blue hyperlink then says “Disable,” which lets you manually turn off your iPhone’s performance management.
Aside from battery health, the biggest point of interest for most people has been the new Animoji. Although we’ve become used to new emoji landing with an iOS update, this is the first time that any new Animoji have been released. Apple is blessing us with the power to become a lion, a bear, a dragon, or a skull, which brings the total number of face-mimicking Animoji up to 16.
In addition, iOS 11.3 beta 6 brings the newest version of Apple’s augmented reality kit, ARKit 1.5 In addition to horizontal surfaces, ARKit will now be able to recognize and place objects on verticals surfaces, like walls and doors. It can recognize the position of a sign or a poster, which Apple says can be utilized for interactive museum exhibits or bringing movie posters to life. Plus, the view from the camera now has a 50% greater resolution and auto-focus.
- 4 new Animoji on iPhone X: Lion, Skull, Bear, and Dragon
- ARKit 1.5 with support for vertical surfaces like walls, irregular shaped surfaces like circular tables, support for auto-focus, and 50% higher resolution
- Business Chat for iMessage in beta with Discover, Hilton, Lowe’s and Wells Fargo on board
- Health Records in Health app automatically updated from select partners
- More prominent music video features in Apple Music
- HomeKit software authentication without chip certification
- Advanced Mobile Location for sending your location to emergency services when calling from iPhone
- Messages in iCloud
- New privacy page during set up and a new Privacy icon in Settings (gray becomes blue)
- Splash screen for Messages in the Cloud, backup can be disabled in Settings
- iBooks is now just Books
- App Store lists version number and update size on Updates screen
- App Store following text size
- Hello, Feedback app…
- Apple TV shows up in Home app with tvOS 11.3, doesn’t work as hub for automation and remote access without tvOS 11.3 on iOS 11.3, AirPlay 2 also working
- New ‘Confirm with Side Button’ prompt for purchases on iPhone X
- No iOS 11.3 beta 2 for iPod touch yet, Apple says a future beta will add support (possibly related to battery management)
- Battery management settings now visible on certain iPhones (H/T Chris!)
- The new section is found under Settings → Battery → Battery Health (Beta)
- iOS details maximum battery capacity and peak performance capability
- iPhones affected by performance throttling due to aging batteries should be able to disable throttling at the risk of experiencing unexpected shutdowns
- As discovered by 9to5Mac’s Rambo, this text appears on affected batteries: Your battery’s health is significantly degraded. An Apple Authorized Service Provider can replace the battery to restore full performance and capacity.
- Apple links to its battery explainer article for more information
- New splash screen for App Store
- Podcasts app now plays episodes with one tap, hyperlinks episode pages (H/T Ryan!)
- Messages in iCloud now includes a confirmation dialogue when deleting message threads
- VoLTE support for Vodafone contract customers in the UK (H/T Tom!)
- iPod touch support returns with iOS 11.3 beta 3
- No more signs of AirPlay 2 for now
- iOS 11.3 beta no longer attempts to pair HomePods in stereo mode
- Deleting Messages now have a finished warning dialogue (H/T Duy)
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