As the iOS 9.3 beta rolls out to developers (and soon to those on the public beta), Apple’s preview page for iOS 9.3 sheds some light on the new features that will be included in the next 9.x iteration. These new features include a built-in f.lux-like screen dimming, protection for your Notes app, new Music and Maps features for CarPlay, new categories in the Health app, a more personalized News app, and plenty of features to make iPads in the classroom a better experience.
The f.lux-like screen dimming is probably the most notable anongst those who use the app on their desktop. Apple rejected f.lux’s app in the App Store in the past, which caused f.lux to release instructions on how to sideload the app using Xcode 7. Back in November of 2015, Apple informed f.lux that was a violation of the Developer Program Agreement, so that method was shut down. This left iOS users with no way to reduce the blue light being emitted from their devices’ screens. Fast forward two months, and Apple’s decision to keep f.lux out of the App Store makes sense. Including the “Night Shift” feature in the OS will most likely benefit more people than a third-party app. It’s a win for Apple, a win for iOS users, but a loss for f.lux.
Not everyone uses third-party notes apps. I have Evernote installed, yet I find myself reaching for the built-in Notes app more often. Many people jot down various things, including sensitive information, in the Notes app. However, it hasn’t offered any way of protecting this information outside of locking your device completely. In iOS 9.3, however, you’ll be able to set a password or use TouchID to keep your notes safe, no matter how trivial they may be.
The biggest features in iOS 9.3, however, might be the education features. Not every school can afford an iPad for every single student. Now, they don’t have to. iOS 9.3 will allow shared iPads for the classroom, allowing each student to log in to any iPad and have their content ready to go. There will also be a Classroom app that will allow a teacher to launch everyone’s apps at the same time and guide what the students are looking at on their devices. This will certainly make the push to get iOS into classrooms much easier.
For more information on the new iOS 9.3 features, check out Apple’s preview page here.