Here’s everything you need to know about iOS 9.3
Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPod, iPhone, and iOS product marketing, took the stage at the event to relay that iOS 9 is currently running on 80 percent of active iOS devices. He compared that to how many devices are running Android’s latest operating system. “…two percent,” he said, receiving laughs from the room.
iOS 9.3 arrived on March 21 for the iPhone, iPad, and the iPod Touch. The update has been in beta since January, and brings a number of changes to the operating system and to apps like Notes, News, and Apple Music.
For starters, there’s a new Night Shift mode in 9.3 that removes some of the blue light from the display. Research shows that removing the blue light from digital devices helps you sleep better at night. More and more companies have been addressing this issue in their products — Amazon added a feature called Blue Shade late last year to its Fire tablets, and Google added a Night Light mode in its Google Play Books app. The upcoming version of Android will also have a Dark mode that addresses the issue.
Another big feature is one that affects Notes — you can now password-protect certain notes in the app, keeping them safe from others using your phone. The new feature makes use of Touch ID, to allow access into your private notes with the touch of a fingerprint.
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For Apple Music, you can allow third-party apps to access your library so they can add songs from the iTunes Store, and even manage your playlists. Other app updates include the Health app, which can now suggests apps; News, which has three new categories: Top Stories, Editor’s Picks, and Trending; and CarPlay, which has a better Maps app and will now suggest songs during your rides.
iOS 9.3 also has a heavy focus on education, with a new Classroom app that allows teachers to manage student activity more. The teachers can even see what students are up to with Screen View, launch apps in student iPads with Remote Control, and reset forgotten passwords within the app. There’s more administrative support, too, so schools can manage Apple IDs better with Apple School Manager. The update allows multiple students to use the same iPad, with support for multiple profiles.
iOS 9.3 will be available sometime on March 21 as an over-the-air update. You can go to Settings > General > Software Update to check if the update has hit your device.
Now you can sync two Apple Watches with watchOS 2.2
Although Apple didn’t mention watchOS 2.2 at its event, the update is rolling out to users now. WatchOS 2.2 brings several improvements to the Glances section of the Maps app. It can run searches, offer quick directions to saved locations, and also includes Nearby. Much like in the updated CarPlay, it marks points of interest and adds subcategories like Travel, Food, and Shopping.
Apple is also letting developers add more detailed workout summaries, offering data on active energy burned, the time spent exercising, and total stand hours earned. The highlight of watchOS 2.2, though, is multiple watch support — meaning that you can pair more than one Apple Watch with a single iPhone.
We’ll update this post as we learn of more features and improvements to Apple’s mobile operating systems.