iOS 9.3 is expected to come out late this month or early in March, and Apple has been seeding beta versions to interested users for sometime now, thanks to which we have a fairly good idea of what we’re about to be hit with when it is finally released. As with previous 9.X updates, this one is also expected to be an under the hoods update, which brings in improvements and some new features, but looks pretty much the same as iOS 9.2. Here are some features that you can be excited about: –
- SEE IN THE “DARK”: Night Mode is by far slated to be biggest feature coming out with iOS 9.3. Your iDevice, on the basis of your location and time will automatically shift to using colors towards the warmer end of the color spectrum. While this functionality has been available on the Mac and within third-party apps on iOS as well, this is the first time it is implemented across the operating system. What it will mean is that the device adjusts color tones on the basis of the time of the day to minimize the strain on your eyes and make sure you’re able to sleep well. This is especially useful if you are someone who does a lot of work at night with the lights off. While this is a good thing for your eyes, but it might not be create for photo editing kind of tasks because the colors will be distorted towards orange hues. But there’s always the option to turn night-mode off!
- “NOTABLE” INCREASE IN SECURITY: Apple has been putting a herculean effort into making its inbuilt Notes application the application of choice for users, and iOS 9.3 is another step in that direction. You can now easily protect Notes that contain sensitive information through Touch ID or a passcode. Also included are other improvements in the Notes app such as theability to sort notes alphabetically, by date, etc. What this effectively means is that the Notes app now comes very close to becoming the note taking application of choice, especially with the added capability of being able to plug in various kinds of text and rich media into the application.
- MORE “NEWS”: The News App, which has been dubbed Apple’s attempt at recreating Flipboard, and which has been a hit or miss with most users also receives some more updates with iOS 9.3. It will now suggest trending topics and Editor’s Picks for you to be able to personalize the news experience a little further. Whether it is still good enough to become the news aggregator of choice remains to be seen.
- “HEALTHIER” THAN EVER: Apple has been focusing on the importance of the iPhone and the iOS platform towards health for a few years now. However, the inbuilt Health App has been pretty plain-jane in its appearance and functionality. That changes to some extent in iOS 9.3. The Health App is now able to accept data from more apps and sources than ever before, and even goes one step further and actually recommends compatible apps for various categories. It also now includes more intuitive charts on the basis of the data gathered from the iWatch, which we believe is what it was always intended to do.
- MORE “DRIVEN” CAR PLAY: Car Play as a feature itself has not been very popular in India because of the lack of vehicles which support the feature, but nevertheless there are some new features included, such as the ability to discover new music or be able to find important things such as ATMs, petrol stations, etc. on the basis of Maps and location data.
- REDEFINING “EDUCATION”: Education has been a very important target sector for Apple not only for its portable devices but also for the Mac, and it is one area where Apple has done well traditionally. With iOS 9.3, Apple is taking a huge leap in this direction by introducing 3 key new features: –
- Shared iPad: Students can now simply go into class and log into an iPad kept there using their Apple ID and password, and all their personal data will be loaded into the iPad allowing the student access to all his work on that very iPad.
- Classroom App: The classroom app for teachers is designed to revolutionize the teaching experience. Using this app, teachers can launch or lock apps, and control what students are looking at on their iPad screens, as well as easily project student work on to a larger screen.
- School Manager: Setting up and using all those iPads require configuration, and the School Manager app allows a user to do just that. It’s easy to configure new IDs, users, devices and even courses, and it runs from within a web browser on both PC and Mac!
All in all, iOS 9 looks like a pretty exciting update with some features to really look forward to.