Apple has announced the final public release of iOS 11.3, featuring a significant number of updates for a point release. Originally previewed in late January, iOS 11.3 promises new augmented reality experiences, new Animoji for iPhone X users, a new Business Chat feature that will allow businesses to communicate with customers via iMessage, a Health Records feature that helps users of participating medical institutions more easily view their medical records, enhanced data and privacy controls, and the Battery Health feature that will ensure users know when their performance is being throttled due to aging batteries on older iPhones.
iOS 11.3 also adds enhancements to Apple Music and Apple News, as well as bringing Apple Pay to transit systems in Beijing and Shanghai, the Apple TV app to Brazil and Mexico, Advanced Mobile Location (AML) features to automatically send a user’s current location when making a call to emergency services, and the new HomeKit support for software authentication that Apple announced last June, allowing developers to securely roll out HomeKit support to existing accessories without having to re-engineer hardware to include Apple hardware authentication chips.
Notably, the iOS 11.3 beta omits Messages in iCloud, a feature that was included in the first iOS 11.3 beta, after being announced for iOS 11 last year and then subsequently delayed, suggesting that Apple doesn’t yet feel that it’s ready for prime-time. AirPlay 2 support is also conspicuously absent from the final release after appearing in early betas, although this is less surprising considering Apple quietly removed it in beta 3.