Friday, March 30, 2018

Features We’re Most Excited About In the iOS 11.3 Update

Yes, you read that right: we’re excited for a .3 iOS update. Just in case you missed it, late last year Apple finally ‘fessed up to slowing the performance of older iPhones in order to keep batteries from frying due to new software updates–and people weren’t so happy about being left in the dark. It was a scandal that hit the Apple brand hard and fast–stock fell almost immediately, and the “negative buzz” around the brand hit an all-time high for the brand at 24 percent of people saying they heard something negative about the company on the first of this year. Needless to say, Apple needed a win after leaving such a sour taste with “Batterygate”, so–yes–a .3 update is actually going to bear some pretty sweet fruit. Here are some of the features and technical pieces we’re most excited about:

Battery Transparency

What’s New: First thing’s first: you can now see a full battery health report in your phone’s settings, and you can control whether or not to “throttle” your battery (which is what Apple has been doing under-wraps in order to save your battery from frying itself).

Why You Should Care: Consider this a “We’re Sorry” card from the team out in Cupertino. They’re making nice on their promise for better transparency on your phone’s battery health, and still offering those $29 battery replacements through the end of the year.

Service Worker Support

What’s New: Now onto our personal favorite (and we confirmed this one straight from the source). iOS 11.3 brings us a fully functional Service Worker, one of the main technical elements behind powerful Progressive Web App functionality like caching and offline access (we’ve got a video for that if you want a deeper dive).

Why You Should Care: This update means that iPhones are one step closer to fully supporting all of the nuances of PWAs–which are truly the future of web-based mobile experiences.

ARKit Updates

What’s New: ARKit 1.5 is here. The original ARKit released with iOS 11 recognized horizontal surfaces (think: tables, floors), but this new release adds vertical and “irregularly shaped surfaces” to its repertoire of recognition.

Why You Should Care: This means developers can get a little more creative with the AR experiences they’re building for consumers, and users are going to get far more accurate AR experiences.

Business Chat

What’s New: Apple is partnering with big name consumer brands and services and allowing you to chat with customer service reps right from your iMessages–no app download required.

Why You Should Care: We’ve known for a while now that texting is this generation’s communication method of choice, so why not allow consumers to chat with reps for the most frictionless experience possible? Brands should jump at the chance to move their call center resources over to text-based chat systems–it’s truly the future of service.

HomeKit Software Authentication

What’s New: The new software authentication features allows developers to add HomeKit support to existing accessories, with some added privacy and security boosts.

Why You Should Care: This update makes life a little easier for developers of smart home products, which means we’ll likely see an uptick in HomeKit-compatible smart home devices, and continued growth in the home automation industry.

Call it a bumper crop, but this .3 update is surprisingly full of fresh features. We’re excited to see how these new features proliferate some really incredible mobile-driven initiatives and projects in brands across all industries. Which feature are you most excited about? Join the conversation on our Twitter account!