Just a few days ago, Apple released the iOS 11.3 beta 5, and now we have our hands on the iOS 11.3 beta 6 – the latest in a series of test builds for one of Apple’s most important updates yet.
Earlier today, Apple seeded iOS 11.3 beta 6 to developers to download for testing. This comes just four days after allowing people to download the fifth beta, and happened a lot faster than anyone had anticipated. Over the next hours and days, we should see a flurry of tweets and posts from developers around the web about what exactly changed with the launch of iOS 11.3 beta 6, but you should probably just expect more of the same: bug fixes.
While the first iOS 11.3 beta and then iOS 11.3 beta 2 introduced a number of new features, the successive betas have all largely been refinements of what we’ve seen thus far. With minor changes like a name change for an app or the bevy of bug fixes and tweaks we’ve seen, the majority of betas haven’t been something to get too excited about. What’s exciting about iOS 11.3 beta 6, however, is that we’re one step closer to getting our hands on the full version of the update.
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iOS 11.3 may sound like a small step up – after all, it isn’t iOS 12 – but the eventual full download of iOS 11.3 is a major step forward for the company, and in one main area – the battery. iOS 11.3 won’t necessarily give you a longer battery life, but it does give users the option to revert the throttling that Apple had secretly been implementing in older iPhones.
In the past few months, Apple has come under fire for their lack of transparency regarding the slowing of older iPhones. Around the same time a new phone would release, Google searches for “slow iPhone” would spike, causing many to suspect that there was something nefarious happening behind the scenes. Apple has since come forward with a statement that they were, in fact, slowing iPhones – but it was in order to protect the battery. The more recent models of iPhones have used lithium-ion technology, which, while superior to alternatives in many ways, do start to lose their capacity after a certain amount of charges. By throttling the performance of older iPhones, Apple is hoping to extend the life of the phone – but with many people dealing with unresponsive phones that can’t last a full day on a single charge, many were unhappy with this revelation.
While it’s not the only major release coming with the launch of iOS 11.3 download, the Battery Health feature offers the ability for a user to turn off the throttling in older phones with the understanding that their phone may start to crash more frequently as time goes on.
When you download iOS 11.3 beta 6, you’ll likely notice the refinement of other features that were added in previous betas, such as the addition of new Animojis: the dragon, bear, skull, and lion. Animojis, while not adding any major functionality to the phone, are a unique feature that is only made possible by the iPhone X and the FaceID functionality. The iPhone X took the mobile market by storm near the end of December, and while it has failed to live up to the lofty sales expectations, it has managed to earn the spot as the fastest-selling iPhone in history. The FaceID is useful for more than just Animoji, however, with the ability to unlock phones using your face by implementing unique technology that can adapt to changes in your appearance.
Other changes coming with iOS 11.3 are additions to the Health app as well as a further expansion of the ARKit that allows developers to expand the functionality of their augmented reality apps.
As we get a few more hours out from the release of iOS 11.3 beta 6, we should have a better sense of what it has to offer. If you’re a developer, however, you should now be able to download the software via an OTA update and get your phone running on the latest iOS beta build.