That’s it, iOS 9.3 is official. Apple took the lid off of its new operating system at its 21 March launch event, letting everyone know that the update is now available for all users starting today. For anyone that wants to install it, the OS will come online later today available as an over-the-air update. To try and install it go to Settings -> General -> Software Update. When available, you’ll be able to download and install it to your iPhone or iPad. The same range of devices as for iOS 9.2 are supported, so that’s iPhone 4S onwards, iPad 2 and iPad Mini onwards, and the iPod Touch 5th generation. Of course, it will also run on the brand new iPhone SE and the 9.7-inch Pad Pro, both of which were launched tonight.
The latest iOS 9.3 update should install without problems, but if you’re having an issue with the update being verified, don’t panic: read my guide on how to fix the ‘Unable to verify iOS update’ error message. With these simple steps you’ll be able to get the new OS installed easily; however, do be patient, as the launch day is particularly busy and it can take a while to get a proper connection to Apple’s servers. While you’re waiting for the download to appear, check out the best features for the new release below.
1. A better night’s sleep with Night Shift
It’s been proven that blue lights from electronic devices can mess with our circadian rhythms, disturbing our sleep patterns. This is the reason that many scientists suggest that we avoid using phones and tablets last thing before going to bed. Well, there is a different way, too: adjust the amount of blue light that comes out of our devices. This is what Night Shift does, automatically shifting colours at night to the warmer (more yellow) end of the light spectrum; in the morning, everything’s back to normal. Interestingly, Google seems to be on the same track with Night Mode in Android N.
2. You can password-protect Notes
Notes is an app that I use all of the time, but there’s no way to password-protect any with sensitive information. Well, until now. With the release os iOS 9.3, you can lock a note so that you need Touch ID (your fingerprint) or a password to unlock them.
3. Multi-user is coming (sort of)
OK, this is a feature for educational use, but Apple will now let schools create multiple user accounts on iPads, so kids can log into different ones and get their same stuff. I’m more excited because it means that Apple now has this ability, which Android has had for a while. Hopefully, by iOS 10 we’ll all be able to do the same and share our iPads with the whole family.
4. Health is getting better
Apple is overhauling the Health app so that it will show more information on the main screen. It’s also making it easier to add data from third-party apps, so you can keep everything in one place no matter which apps and kit you’re using.
5. A few more things
If you’ve got a car with Car Play, you’ll definitely want iOS 9.3. It upgrades the music player and adds a ‘near me’ option for Maps, so you can quickly find points of interest, such as the nearest petrol station. Finally, News has been updated with better personalisation and the ability to play video in-app.
iOS 9.3 is more than just a minor point release and introduces a bunch of new features that improve iPhones and iPads