Technology

iOS 11.3 Brings Updates To ARKit Functionality

Although there are some major issues to iron out during the iOS 11.3 beta, there are a number of new features that have testers excited – one of those being an update to ARKit.

iOS 11.3 ARKit
Image Source: Apple.com (screenshot)

iOS 11.3 ARKit

iOS 11.3 will bring a number of new features, perhaps most notable being the updates to allow users to turn off throttling on older iPhones. While that aspect the biggest upgrade, the upgrade to ARKit in iOS 11.3 also has many people eagerly anticipating the release of the new build.

ARKit is the framework that allows iPhones to handle augmented reality without any additional hardware, making it relatively unique among smartphones.

With the first release of ARKit in iOS 11, the technology was seriously impressive and something we hadn’t really seen before. With the update to ARKit 1.5 with iOS 11.3, Apple has given developers the tools necessary to bring augmented reality experiences to the next level. Developers have been taking to social media to show the public what exactly the new ARKit is capable of, and the results are seriously impressive.

The new updated to ARKit in iOS 11.3 is now capable of mapping irregularly shaped surfaces, which allows it to detect surroundings more accurately. Also included is the capability to map and recognize vertical surfaces, which opens up walls, doors, and windows to an augmented reality experience. Redmondpie reports that developers have been really taking advantage of that feature in particular, with some creative people showing things like tunnels appearing in walls or cockatoos flying into a room. With the original implementation of ARKit, these two implementations wouldn’t have been possible, but a simple update with the release of the iOS 11.3 beta shows that the technology was there all along.

Another impressive capability of the ARKit coming in iOS 11.3 is the ability of the technology to use image detection. This essentially means that a barcode can be scanned and projected into the world, or a book mapped with information displayed onscreen.

At this point, it remains to be seen how exactly ARKit will be implemented in other apps. We’re looking forward to seeing how enterprising developers take advantage of the new features coming in iOS 11.3.

Battery Issues

As mentioned above, iOS 11.3 will also bring about the introduction of a feature to disable throttling of older iPhones. Apple found themselves dealing with a good amount of negative press recently after they admitted that they had been slowing older iPhones in order to protect aging batteries. As the power supply of phones ages and is charged repeatedly, the battery loses capacity and becomes less stable. It’s possible, then, for the phone to shut off or crash randomly due to old batteries. Apple took steps to address the issue by slowing down older iPhones, but they didn’t inform people of the process which caused many people to buy new iPhones in order to deal with an artificially slowed device.

Apple issued an apology for their lack of transparency and reduced the price of battery replacements from $79 to $29, which should fix the issue, but iOS 11.3 will also introduce a feature that will allow people to turn off the throttling at their own risk.

The introduction of changes to ARKit and the ability to turn off throttling are making iOS 11.3 an update to look forward to. There are still some issues that need to be ironed out in beta, but the changes have many testers quite excited. iOS 11.3 is expected to release to the public this spring.