New Animoji & More Coming in iOS 11.3

ARKit 1.5

This morning Apple previewed iOS 11.3 which includes a variety of exciting new features to make our experiences even better. What will likely be the biggest hit in this release is new Animoji characters. The new characters include a dragon, bear, skull, and lion. The bear is absolutely adorable and the dragon looks incredibly detailed. In addition to new Animoji, iOS 11.3 will also include ARKit 1.5 which adds support for vertical surfaces. ARKit can now recognize and interact with things like posters and artwork. Business chat is also launching in iOS 11.3. Business chat works a lot like Facebook Messenger bots do. Business can communicate directly with customers in the Messages app. The app differentiates between other people and businesses using colored navigation bars. According to Apple, the business never gets your contact info as well which should be a good thing for privacy nuts. The battery functionality that Apple promised after the throttling debacle will also be included in the final release of iOS 11.3 to give users more control over the power consumption of their iPhones. Additionally, there is a new health records section of the Health app to allow users to store their medical data like immunizations, medications, allergies, and lab results. There are a few more features in iOS 11.3 that are less exciting but nevertheless still improvements:

Apple Music will soon be the home for music videos. Users can stream all the music videos they want without being interrupted by ads. They can also watch the hottest new videos, the classics or ones from their favorite artists back-to-back in new music video playlists.
Apple News now makes it easier to stay up-to-date on the most important videos of the day with a new Video group in For You, and improved Top Stories.
HomeKit software authentication provides a great new way for developers to add HomeKit support to existing accessories while protecting privacy and security.
Support for Advanced Mobile Location (AML) to automatically send a user’s current location when making a call to emergency services in countries where AML is supported.

I’m excited to get my hands on the final release of 11.3 when it launches later this Spring. A developer preview will be available later today (typically 1pm on the east coast and 10am on the west coast) and I would expect a public beta soon after.

The new Health app
Business Chat in iMessage