Apple has rolled out iOS 10.3 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch this Monday. The update has been going through the beta process from the last week of the February, but it is now available for everything that runs iOS 10.
If you are planning to update your device to iOS 10.3, make sure you backup all your files and data to Apple’s cloud, as it is introducing a new Apple File system, which will replace HFS+, the 30-year old file system which is currently used in iOS, more on that later.
To install the update, open your settings → General → Profile and tap Delete Profile under iOS Beta Software Profile by entering your passcode. Reboot your iOS device and open Settings →General → Software Update to check for the iOS 10.3 update.
If you’re skeptical about iOS 10.3 and want to insight before installing it, do not worry! We’ve conducted an extensive research to let you familiarize with the high-profile features of a new update of iOS.
Let’s get begin with:
Find My Air-Pods
The Airpods are wireless, which means no tangled up wires, but they are by nature prone to be misplaced or lost due to their small size and wireless feature. They also tend to fall out of some people ears, but Apple addressed this issue by integrating Find My Airpods option. This feature is built into the find my phone app.
Though it will cover a shorter range as it works on the Bluetooth, but still it will be very handy especially if you know you’ve lost your Airpods somewhere near your location. You can see the location of Airpods on the map or can make them emit a sound, even individually for each Airpod.
Please beware that it is necessary to remove the Airpods before using this feature as the sound is very loud and can damage your ears.
As previously stated, your iDevice File system will be automatically converted from HFS+ to APFS after upgrading to iOS 10.3. APFS was originally announced previous year at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), and it is exclusively designed for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, and Apple TV.
Broadly speaking, it is a bold move by Apple to change the file system to its biggest platform, as it could cause a lot of trouble if something went south. However, Apple is very familiar with everything about their devices and it will have predictable and uniform partition maps; therefore it seems to be a very good and calculated move. It is an important task to transfer millions of iOS file system and you might have noticed that update took longer than usual to be installed, the new APFS being the reason.
iOS devices with iOS 10.3 installed showed larger amounts of space available, which suggests that new APFS free up small amounts of local storage space. Moreover, it is designed to be low latency and must improve ‘read and write’ speeds as well.
As a casual user, you may not see any other big advantage of the new APFS, but developers must love the new APFS as it will allow them freedom to create stronger encryption, improved time stamps, better data management and protection from file crashes.
Beware that iOS 10.3 will automatically convert all the data on a device to APFS, which will result in a change of data format, so if something goes wrong with the file conversion, your data will become redundant as the new iOS will be unable to read it. So once again, it is highly advisable to save a complete backup of your data.
There have been some upgrades on Siri as well. In iOS 10.3, the Siri will support:
- Paying and checking status of bills with payment apps
- Scheduling with ride-booking apps
- Checking car fuel level, lock status, turning on lights, and activating horn with automaker apps
- Cricket sports scores and statistics for ICC and IPL
Apple engineer Renaud Lienhart, who was working directly on the iOS operating system, wrote a tweet that:
“iOS 10.3 feels ‘snappier’ because many animations were slightly tweaked & shortened, for the better,”
This means Apple’s never-ending quest to tweak with the app launching animations, which was started since the introduction of iOS 7 is still continued. When an app is launched or closed, there is an icon you tap which expands to take up the entire screen. In the new iOS 10.3, the process of that expansion is done just a touch quicker, giving you a greater sense of speed.
The iOS 10.3 also improved app switching capabilities of CarPlay app. Now it will allow you to quickly switch between messaging, media and travel apps without having to navigate to the Home Screen. Furthermore, the Music App has added “Up Next” screen so you can see all the music on your list. The album view can also be viewed from the song screen.
Improvements & Fixes
- Rent once and watch your iTunes movies across your devices
- New Settings unified view for your Apple ID account information, settings, and devices
- Hourly weather in Maps using 3D Touch on the displayed current temperature
- Support for searching “parked car” in Maps
- Calendar adds the ability to delete an unwanted invite and report it as junk
- Home app support to trigger scenes using accessories with switches and buttons
- Home app support for accessory battery level status
- Podcast support for 3D Touch and Today widget to access recently updated shows
- Podcast shows or episodes are shareable to Messages with full playback support
- Fixes an issue that could prevent Maps from displaying your current location after resetting
- Location & Privacy
- Voiceover stability improvements for Phone, Safari, and Mail
Though most of the features of the new iOS 10.3 update are not major, this update will result in a huge shift for iOS users, keeping it mind that it is likely to be the last major update of iOS 10 as we are very close to iOS 11, and a likely beta launch date is around the corner.