Apple is sticking with its Tuesday release cycle for iOS 11.3 betas, since the latest version — that’s iOS 11.3 beta 3 for those keeping score at home — is available for developers to download right now.
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 2, released a week ago today, 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.
iOS 11.3 beta 3 is available for download right now for anyone on the developer beta channel. If your device is already configured with the developer profile, you should see the update appear for you to download right now. Just go to Settings–>General–>Software Update, and you should be prompted to download and install the update.
The iOS 11.3 update will be bringing a whole host of new features to the iPhone when it launches. 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 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.
A battery health function in the Settings app is another big addition, which will let users check the health of their iPhone’s battery without downloading a third-party app or going to the Apple Store. Apple is offering discounted $29 battery replacements to all iPhone 6, iPhone 6S, and iPhone 7 users, and presumably the company is hoping that having a way to check battery health from within the Settings app will help reduce the number of people swarming the Apple store.