Apple iOS 9.3 Opens The Year With a Bang

Posted by Kirhat | Wednesday, January 13, 2016 | | 0 comments »

Apple iOS 9.3
Apple was mildly silent after releasing some of its major products late last year. However, the Cupertino-based company is back with a bang in the first month of 2016.

After a couple of relatively quiet months, Apple dropped the iOS 9.3 out of nowhere (iOS 9.2.1 was the version being quietly beta tested). It is a full blooded release which adds three very smart new features, which include the following:

  1. Smart Education Upgrades

    Education is at the heart of iOS 9.3. In fact so much so Apple has released a dedicated education section on its website just to preview all the changes the update will bring.

    Highlights include iPad multi-user support (called 'Shared iPad') which enables students to log onto any iPad and get full access to their apps, books, documents and places them exactly where they left off. ‘Photo ID’ will show the student’s picture once they've logged in to avoid iPads getting mixed up during the class. Young students get a more basic version accessed with a simple four digit PIN.

    Also breaking new ground is the 'Classroom' app which allows a teacher to control all the iPads of the students in their class (for example to open a particular app) and even jump to individual student's iPads to monitor work ('Screen View'). Meanwhile 'Apple School Manager' is a hub for teachers to compile courses, purchase class books and apps, track individual iPads and more.
  2. Night Shift

    This is a long overdue catch up, but an important one nonetheless. Apple is finally adding support for smart screen filtering. iPhones, iPads and iPod touches running iOS 9.3 will be able to use a combination of the clock and geolocation to track sunset times and move "the colors in your display to the warmer end of the spectrum, making it easier on your eyes."

    This is a fancy way of saying it will manage blue light automatically. Blue light affects levels of the sleep inducing hormone melatonin and means using the phone or tablet late at night can keep users awake.
  3. 3D Touch Matures

    iOS 9.3's next trick is to extend 3D Touch further across the iOS ecosystem. Examples include new 'Quick Shortcuts' for the App Store, Compass, Health, iTunes Store and Weather. This is important because, while 3D Touch is potentially revolutionary, its patchy integration into iOS so far means users cannot use it instinctively knowing pressure commands will work universally across all apps (or even Apple ones).

    If Apple wants 3D Touch to truly take off it needs to up its game here because once users expect the feature to work everywhere. The pressure will then transfer to developers to utilize it more extensively and intelligently which gives iPhones another differentiator. But Apple has to set the example for others to follow and this is a start.


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