Apple iOS 11.3 rolls out: Battery Health tool, new Animoji, and more

Ismael LynchMar 30, 2018

Apple has pushed out the iOS 11.3 update for its iPhones and iPads, bringing a feature that's been highly anticipated since the company's battery management scheme came to light late previous year.

Owners of older devices can now disable a feature that slows down their iPhone to prevent a sudden shutdown.

The feature was introduced in response to the revelation that Apple had been intentionally slowing the performance of older iPhones in order to maximize the life of the battery.

Earlier, the company has promised to release the update in "springs of 2018".

In addition to the new battery checking tool, iOS 11.3 also introduces a new privacy icon to help users identify when Apple is requesting private information and not a third-party. By visiting Settings ⇾ Battery ⇾ Battery Health (Beta), users can now see a percentage representing the health of their battery. The update includes new privacy settings, new Animoji, updates to its augmented-reality engine, and other general updates.

iOS 11.3, the latest operating system for iPhone, includes a feature to turn off performance throttling.

The update brings support for Business Chat within Apple's Message app. Business Chat provides API hooks into customer service platforms like LivePerson, Salesforce, Nuance, Genesys, InTheChat and Zendesk. Apple needs to add those features to comply with GDPR.

Increased transparency is a smart move by the company given current concerns about tech companies and their use of personal data. But its prominence is good timing for Apple, which has been highlighting its different approach to data. Apple doesn't now offer a privacy hub where users can download data and correct information, so this is a welcome addition (even if Apple had to be pushed into doing it).

Another new feature called Business Chat will let you communicate with companies via the Messages app on your iPhone or iPad. "These new institutions, patients have greater access to their medical information including lab results, medications, conditions and more". The feature only connects to select hospitals at the moment. One oddity discovered upon the iPhone X's launch is that you couldn't use Face ID to authenticate for approval of Family Sharing purchases, which Touch ID has always allowed. Try a bear Animoji!

iTunes 12.7.4 is available via the Mac App Store now. Health Records data is encrypted and protected with a passcode. But let's be honest, it's the thing most people will probably test first.

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