Privacy measures are at the heart of Apple’s iOS 11.3 update which launches this week.
The new version of the software that powers iPhones, iPads, and the iPod Touch has been in beta testing since January but is now ready to be rolled out.
It’s the largest software update since iOS 11 launched on 19 September 2017.
Among the top line elements making the news are Apple’s new Data and Privacy feature.
Why so secret?
Apple has listened to its customers when they say they don’t want their names, photos, addresses or any other details valuable to hackers to be shared with other companies.
WhatsApp refused to share data with its parent company Facebook after the Cambridge Analytica scandal that has brought Mark Zuckerberg and his team to the brink of disaster.
The decision to prioritise growth above all else at the social media giant, allowing third-party companies to harvest unlimited amounts of personal data, has left UK Parliament and the US Congress clamouring for change.
WhatsApp is not exactly a paragon of virtue, however.
Previous updates to the messaging service have included allowing you to stalk your phone contacts in real time.
Apple see a chance with iOS 11.3 to set the bar for privacy.
Now whenever Apple asks for access to personal information to enable new features, a new privacy icon will pop up.
This will offer you the exact details of what is being asked for up front.
iOS 11 has been plagued with security flaws, while
What else is new with iOS 11.3?
- Battery Health app. iOS 11.3 adds new features to show the battery health of an iPhone and recommend if a battery needs to be serviced.
These can be found in Settings>Battery and are available for iPhone 6 and later.
After years of rumour and speculation, Apple finally admitted this year it was deliberately slowing down the performance of old iPhones.
Critics said this was to force customers to upgrade to the latest iPhone and promised legal challenges.
Apple said that iOS 11.3 will now show you the “power management feature that dynamically manages maximum performance to prevent unexpected shutdowns”.
This feature, found in Settings>Battery was secretly introduced in iOS 10.2.1 but now users have the option to turn it off.
Battery Health is available for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
- Animoji for iPhone X. While the iPhone X has certainly not been trouble free for Apple, some of its strongest features make use of facial recognition and Augmented Reality.
Four all-new Animoji bring iPhone X users’ expressions to life as a lion, bear, dragon or skull.
The A11 Bionic chip and TrueDepth camera give users the ability to record and send Animoji messages using their voice and more than 50 different facial muscle movements.
Users can now recreate the popular iPhone ad featuring Big Boi’s All Night by tipping or shaking their head in time to music.
- New AR “experiences”. Augmented Reality is at the top of iPhone’s wishlist when it comes to new tech. The introduction of ARKit with iOS 11 made AR available to millions of iPhone and iPad users but the race is on to really take advantage of everything this can do.
With iOS 11.3, Apple promise that users can load up apps which allow phones and tablets to project AR on to vertical surfaces like walls and doors, as well as horizontal surfaces like tables and chairs.
These advanced computer vision techniques find and recognize the position of 2D images such as signs, posters and artwork, meaning ARKit can integrate real world images.
It could fill a blank space with interactive exhbits or bring a film poster to life with additional information, video, photos and data.
The software update also gives the iPhone and iPad camera 50% better resolution and faster auto-focus for more realistic imaging.