Apple has released a beta version of its new iOS 9.3 software for iPhones and iPads, giving a glimpse into the new features that will soon be available. The system updates are now available to developers, who can download the beta from the iOS Dev Centre. For everyone else the wait won’t be too long — the public beta was released on Wednesday for anybody who signed up. Here’s some of the key new features in store.
With a big focus on increasing iPad use in the classroom, Apple have introduced new features for everyone at school, from students to admin staff.
Students are being offered a personalised iPad experience even when multiple users are sharing the same device by now being able to log in to their own individual profile. The new feature, called ‘Shared iPad’ gives students access to their own apps, books and documents on any iPad. Young students will be offered a more basic version accessed with a four digit PIN.
Teachers will be able to see what individual students are doing on their devices, present their work directly to Apple TV and manage iPad use by casting information to students’ devices with a new Classroom app.
The update will offer a centralised hub for teachers called ‘Apple School Manager’, where they will be able to purchase apps and manage individual Apple IDs and enrolment.
It will also be easier to create Apple IDs in bulk, giving schools the ability to assign and manage their students’ accounts. The school features will not be available to the general public.
A new ‘Night Shift’ mode will automatically adjust the colours on iPhone and iPad screens when night falls, becoming warmer and less eye-straining so that Apple users won’t be disturbed by interruptions to their sleep caused by harsh blue screen light.
A similar feature, called f.lux, has been offered in the jailbroken app store Cydia since 2011. F.lux developers unsuccessfully attempted to release the app into Apple’s App Store in 2015. Apple’s new ‘Night Shift’ mode will operate as a built-in feature in iOS 9.3, instead of as a separate app.
Improved 3D Touch
iOS 9.3 will come with advanced 3D Touch capabilities, meaning there are advancements to the way users can interact with their Apple device using pressure commands. These include new ‘Quick Shortcuts’ for the App store, Compass, Health, iTunes Store and Weather.
Pair multiple Apple Watches to a single iPhone
With iOS 9.3, users will be able to pair multiple Apple Watches to a single iPhone so that pictures and other data can be shared with a number of people each with their own Watch. To link multiple Apple Watches to an iPhone, users will need watchOS 2.2, which also went into beta this week.
The iOS 9.3 system update will also offer a Fingerprint Lock for the Notes application and additional features for CarPlay including recommendations from Apple Music and improvements to Maps so that users will be told where to find nearby petrol stations, restaurants, available parking and more.