Apple has released iOS 11.3 beta 2 to compatible iPhone, iPad and iPod touch device owners who are part of iOS beta testing program.
This release is the second beta of iOS 11.3 for developers. The first beta brought us all kinds of new changes, and much more, including new Animoji, a new version of ARKit, and a battery health feature which is meant to appease angry iPhone owners.
Apple has continued the progression by making the download of iOS 11.3 IPSW and OTA update available for testing into the development community. The initial version of iOS 11.3 teased in a Newsroom post before actually releasing beta 1 to developers on January 24th. Now, approximately two weeks later, not on time, but the second iOS 11.3 beta is available for immediate download for all compatible devices.
Individuals who already signed up for Apple Developer Beta Program can eventually grab the latest iOS 11.3 beta, and those who are testers should also be getting the public beta soon.
The interesting thing to see is that how Apple treating iOS 11.3, as an entirely new major version of iOS, or just a fairly impressive update. Rather than simply pushing iOS 11.3 out into the development and testing community like it has done with most updates thus far.
From a feature perspective, iOS 11.3 will bring a whole host of new features to the iPhone when it launches. The biggest of interest for most has been the new Animoji. With the initial release of iOS 11, Apple introduced Animoji feature which allowed device owners to cast their facial expressions and voices onto 3D animated characters. Those characters could then be shared via Apple’s iMessage platform as part of a unique and interactive messaging experience.
So with iOS 11.3 release, Apple wants to add some more Animoji excitement by bringing additional characters and choice into the equation. Apple is also taking its own ARKit to the next level with the introduction of ARKit 1.5, which brings support for placing objects on vertical surfaces as well as better support for mapping or irregular objects. Plus, the view from the camera now has a 50% greater resolution and auto-focus.
Next is the battery health functionality. 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 App Store. Apple, in fact, also offering discounted $29 battery replacements to all iPhone 6, 6s, and iPhone 7 users. Presumably, the company is hoping that having a better way to check battery health from within the Settings app will help reduce the number of people swarming the Apple store.
Another thing we missed is the built-in feature into the Messages app, which instantly throws companies and consumers together in a seamless chat environment. Dubbed Business Chat, this feature will work in conjunction with specific companies to offer immediate customer support to consumers who are contacting them through the native Messages app. Those messages will also be stored in iCloud with the reintroduction of the Messages on iCloud feature.
Right now, anyone on the developer beta profile should see the update as an over-the-air update option. If you are registered and have got the initial beta installed or the relevant configuration profile, then iOS 11.3 beta 2 OTA is available with immediate effect for all compatible iPhone and iPads from Settings > General > Software Update section of the device. Looking to download iOS 11.3 beta 2 IPSW file? Head to developer.apple.com to grab it.
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