Apple iOS 11.3 brings power management to the people

Perhaps the biggest benefit of buying an Apple device over an Android competitor is iOS' far superior cadence and frequency of software updates. Today, vast swaths of iPhones and iPads will gain access to iOS 11.3, an update that Apple says brings new augmented-reality features and the ability to control the power-management functionality that was quietly introduced in a past release.

Apple says the big news is the addition of new computer vision technologies in ARKit that now allow AR applications to find and use two-dimensional planes like floors, walls, and tabletops as surfaces to augment. The company says the  view of physical reality through the camera (in an AR application, we presume) has 50% better resolution and supports auto-focus. The company expects that developers will use ARKit to create experiences like interactive movie posters and museums filled with dynamic virtual exhibits.

The real news here, to our reckoning, is the release of controls for Apple's controversial automatic battery management feature that may limit performance on iPhone 6 and newer models. That functionality was introduced in iOS 10.2.1 and reduces maximum performance in an effort to prevent phones with weak batteries from shutting off under load. iOS 11.3 now includes a battery health monitoring tool along with an override for said automatic management. The company has already dropped the price of replacement batteries on affected models to $29.

There's also a Business Chat feature (still in beta and only for the US for now) in the Messages app that provides a new way to communicate with participating businesses. Apple says that some companies in the retail, finance, and hospitality sectors will use Business Chat with their customers. Also, Spotlight, Safari, and Maps search results will provide links for users to transition directly into a conversation with a representative from the selected business.

The iOS 11.3 update also brings new lion, bear, dragon, and skull Animojis to iPhone X users. The new faces can be used to record and send messages, or create karaoke videos. The new release also has a new Health Records feature that lets patients of about 40 participating health organizations view their medical records on their iPhones. Health data is encrypted and protected with a passcode.

Owners of compatible iOS devices can follow instructions here to update to iOS 11.3. The compatibility list includes iPhone models 5S and newer, all iPad Air and iPad Pro variations, iPad Mini 2 and newer, and fifth-generation and newer suffix-less iPads.

Comments closed
    • ronch
    • 2 years ago

    By ‘people’, it would mean the ‘masses’. And by ‘masses’, it’s not $800 iPhones. Most folks in the world make do with phones much cheaper than $800.

      • LostCat
      • 2 years ago

      Most iPhones and iPads are also not $800.

    • tipoo
    • 2 years ago

    11.3 feels decidedly better, as someone who has been complaining about UI jank and frame drops for a while now. Seems like the old adage of “wait for the .1” has to be modified to “wait for the .3” for Apple for now on, whenever 12 drops I’m surely waiting it out this time.

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 2 years ago

    IPhone 7+ (Pre-ordered and received in launch day).
    89% battery max capacity.
    Peak performance capability

    I’m hoping this version also slightly improved how aggressively apps are put to storage from RAM.

      • MOSFET
      • 2 years ago

      Iphone 6S+ (bought the night before the 7 launched)
      97% battery capacity
      Peak performance

      Excellent battery. I charge a time or two a week.

        • adampk17
        • 2 years ago

        a time or two a week!?

        Damn, I charge nightly and a little in between.

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      Yeah, iOS10 I remember being impressed with how old apps could be and still stay in RAM in just 2GB, but since 11 a lot gets booted more. But 11.3 is a lot better than 11 started out as, even if it’s not 100% back to 10 yet.

      I think I’m going to stick to the .3s and beyond from now on.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 2 years ago

    Still got my iPhone 6S Plus kicking around and keep it updated, so i’ll check it out. It’ll be interesting to see if my battery was holding back performance.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 years ago

      Battery health at 88%, and Performance Management has been applied. Meh, it still feels snappy to me.

        • Duct Tape Dude
        • 2 years ago

        iPhone SE, 89% health after nearly 2 years, peak performance still available.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 2 years ago

          While I don’t remember it happening, it said mine had experienced an unexpected shutdown so it was turned on automatically. I could force the issue but didn’t see a reason. Might be that my phone’s display requires more juice.

            • Duct Tape Dude
            • 2 years ago

            Sounds plausible. The SE has most of the same internals as your 6S but is paired with a much smaller, crappier screen. Probably taxes the GPU + battery less, despite the battery capacity difference.

        • DrCR
        • 2 years ago

        Does it perchance include cycle information? Just curious.

          • Duct Tape Dude
          • 2 years ago

          It’s just a percentage wear, the actual cycle count is hidden.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 2 years ago

          Nope. Unlike the battery stats on a Mac, they hide everything but percentages on the phone.

            • adisor19
            • 2 years ago

            Plenty of Mac apps out there that gives you that info though.

            Adi

            • derFunkenstein
            • 2 years ago

            [url=https://coconut-flavour.com/coconutbattery/<]This is the only one you need[/url<]

            • adisor19
            • 2 years ago

            Yup, that’s the one 🙂

            Adi

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