Apple has been on a roll with the updates recently. After a major security fiasco with MacOS that was frantically patched out, the company seems to have a renewed commitment to providing timely updates that improve security and add features to their product ecosystem. Apple has proven that they’re serious about their updates, and it seems as if we could get 11.2.1 just a couple months after the recent release of 11.2. But when can we expect iOS 11.3?
It’s likely we’ll see the first pre-release seed of iOS 11.2.1 before Apple shuts down for the holidays. This means that developers and testers will soon have a patch focused on fine-tuning and bug fixes to play around with during one of the few times a year where Apple developers take a break. If the release dates of iOS 9.3 and iOS 10.3 are any indication, it’s reasonable to expect that Apple will launch a pre-release sometime in January of 2018, with a full release following shortly afterwards.
If iOS 11.3 is truly released in January, that would be around 5 months before Apple is set to unveil iOS 12 (during next year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).) iOS 12 will be a major release, and if iOS 11.3 is to follow in the footsteps of 9.3 and 10.3, it will likely be a semi-major update that adds more than simple bug fixes or security patches.
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Features and Release Date
We expect that the release will actually include a large amount of new features will will appeal to those who own one of Apple’s latest flagship iPhones or iPads. While it’s nearly impossible to currently predict an entire list of the improvements we’ll see with iOS 11.3, it’s reasonable to expect a reintroduction of its Messages in iCloud feature that was unexpectedly pulled at the last minute from the iOS 11.0 beta. Apple did state that it will release at some point, so it’s pretty likely that this feature will launch with the upcoming update.
Once the testing community has their hands on iOS 11.3, it will likely go through several beta iterations before it launches for everyone around Spring 2018 — Just in time for a new iPad. With a release date not yet confirmed, this is largely an educated guess. However, Apple has generally stuck to a schedule with past releases so it’s probably a pretty reliable one. While the huge release and revamp of the operating system will come with iOS 12, there’s still a lot to be excited about with the impending release of iOS 11.3.