Apple has released the beta version of iOS 9.3 to developers, offering several major changes including Night Shift and further improvements to the CarPlay service.
Apple announced the new build with a detailed update on its website, underlining that this is seen as a major update, and not just tweaks and fixes.
Perhaps the most notable new feature is Night Shift, which is designed to make iPhones and iPads automatically adjust the light on the screen based on the time of day, in order to reduce the negative effects of screen glare on human eyes.
“Night Shift uses your iOS device’s clock and geolocation to determine when it’s sunset in your location. Then it automatically shifts the colours in your display to the warmer end of the spectrum, making it easier on your eyes. In the morning, it returns the display to its regular settings,” Apple explained.
Apple said it is introducing this feature in response to studies showing that the glare from digital screens can affect the brain and make it harder to fall asleep.
Another notable new update is the ability to use the Touch ID fingerprint scanner to protect Notes, ensuring that any sensitive information is kept secure.
“Now you can secure the notes that contain your most personal data, such as financial details, medical info, or website log-ins, with a password or fingerprint," Apple said.
The iOS 9.3 update also brings new features when used with Apple’s CarPlay service. This includes a new section in Apple Music that suggests new artists you may want to listen to, while the Maps service has been updated to display nearby facilities such as petrol stations, car parks and restaurants.
The Health and News apps will also be updated, adding further functionalities such as improved exercise information in Health and more curated content in the News app.
The final release date for the update is not likely to be for a few weeks but could arrive some time around March based on previous Apple release timelines.
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