Apple shows off what's coming in iOS 11.3, including new Animojis and more

Apple announced iOS 11.3 today, its next update that's coming for iPhones and iPads. The version number would indicate that it's just another minor update, but it's not. This is Apple's mid-stream iOS update, which contains a range of new features.

First off, there are new Animojis for iPhone X users. Adding on top of the timeless classics like smiling pile of poop, you'll now be able to make emojis that are animated with your facial expressions from the modern classics, like lion (seen above), bear, dragon, and skull.

Perhaps most importantly though is the ability to check in on your battery health. The reason for this is because last month, we found out that Apple has been throttling performance on iPhones with old batteries without telling anyone. With iOS 11.3, you'll not only be able to see if this is happening with your phone, but you'll be able to turn it off. The feature will be made available for the iPhone 6 and later.

And in the virtual land of ARKit, Apple is adding ARKit 1.5 to the new update. You'll now be able to place objects on vertical surfaces like walls and doors. The company also says that the view of your virtual world now supports autofocus, and has a 50% greater resolution.

Business Chat is coming to the Messages app, with support from initial partners like Discover, Hilton, Lowe's, and Wells Fargo. The feature will connect users directly with businesses' representatives, and you can even make payments via Apple Pay Cash. Apple says that it doesn't share your contact information with the business, and you can shut it off at any time.

The Health app now supports Health Records, which should pull your medical data from a variety of sources and allow users to see it in one view. The data will be encrypted, and will require a passcode.

Finally, there are some additional features that Apple noted are coming to iOS 11.3:

  • 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 favorite artists back-to-back in new music video playlists.

  • Apple News now makes it easier to stay up-to-date on the most important videos of the day with a new Video group in For You, and improved Top Stories.

  • 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.

iOS 11.3 will be available as a developer preview later on today, likely at 10am Pacific Time. Later, there will be a public beta available as well. The update will be made available for the iPhone 5s and later, iPad Air and later, and sixth-generation iPod Touch.

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