Apple officially announced the release of iOS 9.3 today during the company’s special event in Cupertino, and the update is now available. Originally released in January to developers, and then later as part of the company’s public beta program, iOS 9.3 is an unusually feature-packed update for a point iOS release, as we observed in our early analysis of the betas.
The new version adds several improvements to CarPlay, including full support for Apple Music and “Nearby” points of interest for Apple Maps. A new “Night Shift” mode provides automatic reduction of blue light in the evenings in response to studies that suggest that mobile screen lighting can impact users’ sleep cycles. Enhancements to the built-in iOS Notes app allow individual items to be password protected, the Health app adds discovery of iOS HealthKit apps, and the Apple News app includes new Top Stories and Editors Picks sections, although Apple notably has not yet increased the availability of its News Service outside of the U.S., U.K., and Australia.
iOS 9.3 also adds Educational improvements to the iPad for use in classroom environments, including shared profiles on iPads, a new Classroom app to facilitate teacher/student interaction, an admin portal for managing a school’s iPads and assigned apps, and “managed” Apple IDs that allow school administration to provision and control Apple IDs for students. iOS 9.3 is available now as an over-the-air update for all iOS 9-compatible devices.