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Apple’s iOS 11.3 is now available for download on the iPhone and iPad

The iOS 11.3.1 update fixes unresponsive screens caused by third-party repairs

Apple officially released its iOS update, version 11.3.1. To download the update, head over to Settings > General > Software Update and wait for the notification about iOS 11.3 to appear. You will then be able to tap Download and Install.

Here is a look at some of the exciting and essential updates for iPhone and iPad users, including new Animojis, battery, and performance management features, app updates, and more.

A fix for unresponsive touchscreens

With the release of an update to iOS 11, Apple sought to address an extremely frustrating problem for iPhone 8 owners who found that their touchscreens had become unresponsive. Customers noted that their displays no longer worked after they were repaired by third parties. Luckily, the iOS 11.3.1 update purports to fix this problem.

But to ensure that a similar issue does not reappear, Apple is being quite explicit about recommending against using “non-genuine replacements displays.” In its software update notes, the company writes, “Non-genuine replacement displays may have compromised visual quality and may fail to work correctly. Apple-certified screen repairs are performed by trusted experts who use genuine Apple parts.”

Parents can approve family purchases with Face ID

To date, iPhone X users have not been able to approve family purchases with Face ID, but iOS 11.3 allows parents with an iPhone X to approve a purchase using Face ID on their phone.

The first time a parent approves a purchase, they will have to enter their password, though after that they will be asked if they want to use Face ID for future purchases. The next time, tapping the “Buy” button will launch Face ID authentication instead of the password prompt.

Battery and performance management

With iOS 11.3, you can easily access battery health information in the settings which let you see your battery’s maximum capacity. You’re also able to check on its peak performance — once your battery begins to degrade, an option to enable or disable power throttling will appear.

Animoji and augmented reality updates

Apple’s iOS 11.3 update also brings a few awesome updates for iPhone X owners. The update includes four new Animojis for iPhone X users — a lion, bear, skull, and dragon, bringing the total count of Animojis to 16.

There are also improved augmented reality features using Apple’s ARKit. You will notice improvements when mapping irregularly shaped objects as well as the ability to place virtual objects on vertical surfaces. iOS 11.3 will also include a feature that allows users to interact with 2D images such as signs and posters, which is similar to Google Lens.

Health records

The Health app now allows users to access their medical records. The feature has rolled out to about a dozen hospitals across the country including Cedars-Sinai, John Hopkins Medicine, Penn Medicine, and NYU Langone Medical Center with plans on expanding to more in the future.

More App Store capabilities

While the App Store received a huge revamp with the initial release of iOS 11, this update brings along a few more improvements. You’re now able to sort reviews based on criteria — most helpful, most favorable, most critical, and most recent.

Under the app updates section, each app now lists the exact version number and file size at the bottom. This makes it easier to decide if you want to update the app now or save your storage instead.

Updates to the News App

The updated app news now features a section of curated videos located under the “For You” category. Another extremely minor addition is the ability to see the temperature outside, which is located in the upper-right hand corner when you first open the app.

Privacy Awareness

Image used with permission by copyright holder

In an effort to be more transparent about data collection, there’s a new icon that pops up whenever Apple requests personal information from you. The icon specifically appears when any of Apple’s apps need the information to enable features, personalize the experience, or secure its services.

Apple Music adds video playlists

If you use Apple Music as your main streaming service, iOS 11.3 allows you to watch music videos back to back with video playlists. All music videos also now stream ad-free.

Additional features

Advanced Mobile Location (AML) support has been added to your devices as well. This feature provides your location data to emergency personnel in cities that support the technology.

Another feature that is currently in beta in iOS 11.3 is called Business Chat — allowing users to communicate directly with a business via the Messages app. Currently, a handful of businesses are available to speak with including Lowes, Discover, Hilton, and Wells Fargo.

Update: iOS 11.3.1 has been released, and includes a fix for non-responsive screens. 

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Brenda Stolyar
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