Apple has recently announced the public release of its iOS 10.3 firmware. This the latest of its mobile operating system updates is considered to be the largest to be completed of iOS 10 so far. Offering more than the odd tweak here, and a bug fix there. In fact, according to those who know, it’s a performance boost and more rolled into one. Here’s what’s new compared to iOS 10.2.
iOS 10.3 Vs. iOS 10.2
Apple engineer Renaud Lienhart, a man who works on iOS 10, has revealed that this update for iPhones and iPads contains many undocumented changes. In fact, he points to performance as one area of major gain, suggesting that this version feels much faster than the previous.
Why? Because some animations that were seen to be resource hungry have been tweaked to be shorter, so less hungry. This has lead to a perceived improvement in performance across all iPhone and iPad functions. However, this is just for starters, as there are more improvements and new features worth sharing, see below.
Find My AirPods
If you own or have read user reviews about Apple’s AirPods, you will know losing them is easy. In fact, it has become such an issue that the Cupertino-based company has tried to come up with a solution. Called Find My Airpods this new iOS 10.3 feature gives users the ability to use Find My iPhone to find them.
Not available on iOS 10.2, this feature allows you to make your AirPods call out to you via a sound. This, in turn, could help a missing one be found as long as it’s connected to your handset or tablet.
Maps App 3D Touch Update
As proof that Apple listens to its handset and tablet users, it has included a new tweak not previously present. Maps now allow users to use 3D Touch for Quick Actions. Meaning that when you push down on say a weather icon, the forecast for your location pops up.
Siri Gets a Cricket Update
India is Apple’s biggest growing market, and the biggest sport there is Cricket. So, it makes sense (at least for Apple) to add Cricket updates within Siri. It will be able in iOS 10.3 to collect the latest scores from Premier League and International test matches. As well as be able to answer questions put to it about those games, including team news, stats, etc.
iCloud Usage Breakdown
As well as performance increases, Maps updates, and improvements to Siri, a more general UI improvement has been incorporated. And that’s the ability to see your iCloud storage usage, found in the Apple ID settings menu it also reveals the settings for Keychain, iCloud Backup and Find My iPhone.
Updated Apple ID Menu
One more update that brings information to iOS 10.3 users fingertips that were not present on iOS 10.2 is a new settings menu. Revealing Apple ID information, it will show you devices logged into, those connected to iCloud, App Store and iTunes. In the past, this information was squeezed into the iCloud settings; now this useful update makes things clearer.
Is Your Device Compatible?
To be able to run this latest version of the popular firmware you need to have an iPhone 5 or later, or a 4th generation iPad. As for the iPod Touch, it needs to be of the 6th generation or later variety.
How To Get iOS 10.3
If you want to give iOS 10.3 a try and have at least 650MB of free space on your device. You can install the update by completing the following:
1. Connect your iPhone or iPad to a computer with iTunes installed.
2. Go to Settings >> General >> Software Update and complete the on screen instructions.
Here is the official information changelog and what Apple had to say about iOS 10.3:
“iOS 10.3 introduces new features including the ability to locate AirPods using Find my iPhone and more ways to use Siri with payment, ride booking, and automaker apps.”
Find My iPhone
- View the current or last known location of your AirPods
- Play a sound on one or both AirPods to help you find them
- Support for paying and checking status of bills with payment apps
- Support for 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 Indian Premier League and International Cricket Council
- Shortcuts in the status bar for easy access to last used apps
- Apple Music Now Playing screen gives access to Up Next and the currently playing song’s album
- Daily curated playlists and new music categories in Apple Music
Other improvements and fixes
- Rent once and watch your iTunes movies on 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
- Podcasts 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