The latest iteration of iOS for your Apple portable devices is out. Here’s what you’ll find under the hood.
How to upgrade to iOS 9.3
First things first, you need to upgrade your device. In most cases you’ll be prompted to download and install the latest release of iOS on your iPad, iPhone or iPod. If you don’t want to wait for that to happen, you can do it manually by going to: Settings > General > Software Update. Your mobile device will then report which operating system you’re running to Apple, then report back to you if an update is available. If so, click Install, let it download and run, restart, and we’re off to the races.
Here’s what’s new
Lots of big and little changes to iOS this time around. Here’s a quick look at what you can expect.
Night Shift plays nice with your eyes
There have been countless studies that have shown a link between poor quality of sleep and the type of light emitted from portable devices. In other words, if you’re on your iPhone before bed, it probably takes you more than a few minutes to nod off.
Night Shift aims to fix that by limited your exposure to bright blue light in the evening hours by automatically adjusting the colors of your display to a warmer spectrum.
Night Shift is not turned on by default after the upgrade so you’ll need to do that yourself.
- Swipe up from the bottom of your iPhone screen to reveal the Control Panel
- Click the third icon on the bottom row of icons to enable Night Shift
Night Shift, by default, will now turn on at sunset and automatically turn off at sunrise. If you’d like to adjust those settings, go to Settings > Display & Brightness > Night Shift.
Lock up your Notes
The Notes app has had several updates recently that have taken it from a fairly useless Apple stock app to a must-use app for many. It’s gotten even better with this update, now giving you the ability to lock down your notes with a fingerprint or password. If you keep passwords, financial or medical data, or other personal information inside the Notes app, you can now rest assured that they’ll be protected behind lock and key.
To lock a note, press the up arrow next in the upper-right of any note and choose Lock Note as shown in the above image.
You’ll only need to setup the following screen once.
You’ll be asked to create a password for all of your notes, and you can also enable the option to have your notes unlocked with your fingerprint.
When you’ve done that, you’ll be taken back to your original note. Tap the lock icon in the upper-right corner to lock your note.
Notes can also now be sorted by date created, date modified, or alphabetically.
News your way
The News app has been hit or miss since its release. It’s a decent enough app, but so are many others out there. With the latest edition of iOS, Apple is now tailoring news articles based on your interests. The more you click on certain types of articles, the more you’ll see similar pieces of news.
The News app also got a speed boost, so it should load faster and run smoother.
The Health app allows for third-party apps
Unless you also had an Apple Watch, the Health app was probably not something you dipped into often. Third-party apps are now compatible with the Health app in categories like weight/weight loss, workouts and sleep. Check for those in the App Store, then sync them to your iPhone.
The Health app will also now automatically display your Apple Watch data (move, exercise, stand), plus your goals, so you can see all your metrics in one place.
Those are the biggies, but there’s so much more to the latest update, including:
- New features added to CarPlay
- Classroom app (for iPad only) to help teachers with lesson plans and student progress
- New 3D Touch shortcuts for native Apple apps
- Ability to duplicate photos in the Photos app
- New language support (Hebrew, Finnish and Malay) added to Siri
- Multi-user support for iPad
- “Nearby” option to locate restaurants, ATMs, etc. has been added to Apple Maps
The iOS 9.3 update is free and is available on iPad, iPhone and iPod.