Preview of iOS 11.3 reveals new Animoji avatars, ARKit improvements, battery monitoring and more

Apple has released a preview of the new features in its iOS 11.3 software ahead of beta releases to developers and the public. The updated operating system’s Messages app will add new Animoji options — dragon, bear, lion and skull — as well as a Business Chat feature that lets users “have a conversation with a service representative, schedule an appointment or make purchases using Apple Pay” with select business partners, including Discover, Hilton, Lowe’s and Wells Fargo. Addressing the outrage over slowing down iPhones with older batteries, Apple has added a way to see the device’s battery health and a way to shut off the power management features that slowed down devices to preserve battery life.
Improvements to ARKit will give augmented reality functionality a boost, providing the ability to render objects in 2D images into 3D and rendering the real-world view for AR applications in 1080p instead of the current 720p. The Health app will gain the ability to collect a user’s health data from multiple providers, allowing patients of “participating medical institutions” to get notifications about “lab results, medications, conditions and more.” Which medical institutions will be participating when the feature rolls out is still unclear.

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