5 Things to Know About the iOS 11.3 Update

The iOS 11.3 update is a huge upgrade for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch bringing new features, enhancements, bug fixes, and security patches to Apple’s mobile devices.

iOS 11.3 is a substantial release for iOS users around the globe and it could have a huge impact on the way you use your phone or tablet. It could also have a noticeable impact on your device’s performance.

In this guide we’ll take you through the most important things to know, right now, about the iOS 11.3 update, its changes, its performance on the iPhone and iPad, iOS 11.3 problems, and what’s coming next from Apple.

iOS 11.3 Reviews

If you’re currently running iOS 11.2.6, you should be able to get the iOS 11.3 update on your phone or tablet in less than 10 minutes.

Apple’s iOS 11.3 update is much bigger than iOS 11.2.6 and checks in at 700MB for the iPhone X. You can expect around the same for other iPhone and iPad models. If you’re connected to a fast Wi-Fi network, your iOS 11.3 download should take a couple of minutes to complete.

As for the iOS 11.3 installation process, it took around eight minutes on Apple’s iPhone X. Mileage will of course vary from person-to-person, device-to-device.

If you’re running an older version of iOS 11 on your phone or tablet, you’re looking at a larger download and a longer installation. For more on the download and installation, take a look at our guide.

We’ve been using the iOS 11.3 update for a little over a week on several iPhone and iPad models and here are a few early thoughts about its performance.

iOS 11.3 battery life is currently stable. We haven’t noticed any weird drops though it can sometimes take a few days for battery life issues to show up.

We haven’t noticed any connectivity issues. Wi-Fi speeds appear are currently normal and we’re able to connect our phones to various Bluetooth devices including headsets and speakers. GPS and cellular data also appear to be working fine.

We haven’t noticed any major problems with core apps like Twitter, Slack, Asana, Gmail, Chrome, or Spotify. We also haven’t seen any UI lag on newer models. Lag is an issue on older devices like the iPhone 6 and iPhone 5s.

Most people should install iOS 11.3 in the near future, but those of you using older devices, like the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6, need to be careful. New software can be problematic on old hardware.

If you need feedback, take a look at our reasons to, and not to, install the iOS 11.3 update on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch today.

We’ve published our usual round of mini reviews and you’ll find them at these links for the iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6, iPhone 5s, iPhone SE, and the iPad Air 2, iPad Air, and iPad mini 2.

iOS 11.3 Update: What’s New

Earlier this year, Apple promised to release “new features that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance.” iOS 11.3 brings these features to iPhone users.

With iOS 11.3 on board you’ll be able to access new features to show battery health. They’ll also tell you if your battery needs to be serviced. These are found in Settings > Battery and are available for iPhone 6 and later.

iOS 11.3 users are also able to see “if the power management feature that dynamically manages maximum performance to prevent unexpected shutdowns, first introduced in iOS 10.2.1, is on and can choose to turn it off.”

This new feature is found in Settings > Battery and is available for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

iOS 11.3 also delivers brand new Augmented Reality (AR) experiences with improvements to the company’s ARKit solution.

The update’s ARKit 1.5 can “recognize and place virtual objects on vertical surfaces like walls and doors, and can more accurately map irregularly shaped surfaces like circular tables.”

iOS 11.3 comes with four new Animojis for iPhone X users including a lion, a bear, a dragon, and a skull, a new Business Chat that allows users to communicate directly with businesses within Messages (T-Mobile recently joined the companies participating in the beta), and health records in the Health app.

There’s also a notable change to the iPhone X’s Face ID checkout on the App Store and Apple Pay. Now when you go to download a new application, you’ll see a “Confirm with Side Button” instruction with a graphic. This is Apple’s attempt to clarify a process that many users feel isn’t intuitive.

On iOS 11.3, you can sort App Store reviews on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. If you tap See All under the Ratings & Reviews section in the App Store, users running iOS 11.3 can sort reviews via four categories including Most Helpful, Most Favorable, Most Critical, and Most Recent:

  • Most Helpful: These reviews have received “Helpful” feedback from other users. iOS 11 users can choose between “Helpful” or “Not Helpful” by hard pressing the text bubble via 3D Touch.
  • Most Favorable: These are the reviews with the highest ratings.
  • Most Critical: These are the reviews with the lowest ratings.
  • Most Recent: This shows the reviews in reverse chronological order.

The iOS 11.3 update also comes with some other changes should be aware of. Here’s the full iOS 11.3 change log:

Augmented Reality

  • ARKit 1.5 allows developers to place virtual objects on vertical surfaces, such as walls and doors, as well as on horizontal surfaces.
  • Supports the detection and integration of images, such as movie posters or works, into augmented reality experiences.
  • The real-world view perceived through the camera has a higher resolution as part of the augmented reality experience.

iPhone Battery Health (Beta)

  • Displays the maximum capacity and optimal battery performance capability of the iPhone.
  • Indicates whether the Performance Management feature, which dynamically handles maximum performance to avoid unexpected shutdowns, is enabled, and provides an option to disable it.
  • Recommends replacing the battery when necessary.
  • To learn more about batteries and performance.

iPad Charging Management

  • Maintains battery status when the iPad is plugged in for extended periods of time, such as when used in a kiosk or point-of-sale system, or stored in a charging cart.

Animoji

  • Four new Animoji available on the iPhone X: lion, bear, dragon and skull.

Privacy

  • When an Apple feature wants to use your personal information, an icon now appears with a link to access detailed information about how your data will be used and protected.

Business Chat (Beta) – United States Only

  • Communicate with companies to easily ask questions, schedule appointments, and make purchases inside the built-in Messages app on iPhone and iPad

Health Records (Beta) – United States Only

  • Access health records and view lab results, immunizations, and more in a consolidated timeline in the Health app

Apple Music

  • Provides a new experience in video clips, including a Revised Video Clips section featuring exclusive video playlists.
  • Find friends with similar tastes through Apple Music’s improved suggestions, which list the genres that the users and mutual friends follow.

News

  • The main titles now always appear first in “For You.”
  • Watch the best videos selected by News editors.

App Store

  • Four options now allow you to sort the customer reviews on the product pages: the most useful, the most favorable, the most critical or the most recent.
  • The Updates tab now shows the version of the app and the size of the file.

Safari

  • Promotes the protection of privacy by notifying usernames and passwords until they have been selected in a web form field.
  • Presents warnings in the smart search field when the user interacts with password entry forms or credit card data on unencrypted web pages.
  • Automatic filling of usernames and passwords is now available in apps’ web views.
  • By default, articles shared via Mail from Safari are now formatted using Reader mode, if the drive is available.
  • In Favorites, folders now have icons for the bookmarks they contain.

Keyboards

  • Adds two Shuangpin keyboard layouts.
  • Supports connected physical keyboards using Turkish F layout.
  • Improves Chinese and Japanese keyboards for better accessibility on devices with a 4.7-inch or 5.5-inch screen.
  • Allows you to return to the keyboard with a simple touch after the dictation.
  • Fixes a problem that could cause the capitalization of the first letter of some words by the automatic correction feature.
  • Fixes an issue on the iPad Pro that prevented the iPad Smart Keyboard from working after connecting to a captive Wi-Fi hotspot.
  • Fixes a problem that could cause undesirable activation of the digital layout on the Thai keyboard in landscape mode.

Accessibility

  • The App Store now supports accessibility options “Bold Text” and “Large Font” for customizing the display.
  • Smart Reversal now supports images on the web and in Mail messages.
  • Enhances the RTT experience and supports RTT service for T-Mobile.
  • Improves app selection on the iPad for VoiceOver users and selection control.
  • Corrects a problem with the incorrect description of the Bluetooth status icon and the Bluetooth icon by VoiceOver.
  • Fixes a problem that may prevent the end of call button from appearing in the Phone app when using VoiceOver.
  • Fixes an issue preventing access to an app’s built-in ranking with VoiceOver.
  • Fixes a problem that may cause distorted audio playback when using real-time listening.

Other Enhancements and Fixes

  • Supports AML technology, which provides more accurate location data to emergency services during an emergency call (in countries where this technology is available).
  • Supports software authentication, which provides developers with a new way to create and activate HomeKit-compatible accessories.
  • Podcasts now plays episodes with a single tap, and you can tap Details to learn more about each one.
  • Improves search performance for users with long notes in Contacts.
  • Improves the performance of Handoff and the universal clipboard when both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  • Fixes a problem that may prevent incoming calls from activating the screen.
  • Fixes a problem that may prevent or prevent voicemail playback.
  • Fixes an issue that prevents opening a web link in Messages.
  • Fixes a problem that may prevent users from returning to Mail after previewing an attachment to a message.
  • Fixes a problem that could cause the deleted screen to reappear on the locked screen.
  • Fixes a problem that can cause the time and notifications to disappear on the locked screen.
  • Fixes an issue that prevents parents from using Face ID for approving purchase authorization requests.
  • Fixes a problem that could prevent updating of the current weather conditions in Weather.
  • Fixes a problem that could prevent the synchronization of contacts with a vehicle directory when connected via Bluetooth.
  • Fixes a problem that may prevent an audio app from playing content in a vehicle while it was in the background.

T-Mobile iPhone users have also discovered another change on board iOS 11.3. According to T-Mobile, Wi-Fi Calling now prefers LTE calls over Wi-Fi Calling and the change has confused, and frustrated, some iOS 11.3 users.

Don’t expect a “fix” for T-Mobile devices any time soon. AT&T and Verizon already handle Wi-Fi calling on their devices this way.

As for AirPlay 2, it initially looked like it would arrive with iOS 11.3, but Apple stripped it from the third iOS 11.3 beta hinting at a delay.

The feature isn’t on board the final version of iOS 11.3, but it looks like it’ll come on board the next major iOS 11 update for iPhone and iPad.

For more on the changes, take a look at our iOS 11.3 walkthrough or have a look at our iOS 11.3 video walkthrough above.

iOS 11.3 Problems

Apple’s iOS 11.3 update is causing problems for some iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users.

iOS 11.3 users are complaining about installation issues, weird battery drain, connectivity (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, cellular data) issues, Touch ID problems, issues with Face ID, problems with first and third party apps, and UI lag. We’ve also run into some frustrating bugs that we hope Apple will fix in the near future.

On top of those issues, the iOS 11.3 update’s reportedly killed touch functionality on iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus models repaired with aftermarket displays.

A report from iFixit claims the issue isn’t malicious and that it’s simply a bug that Apple needs to work out. Unfortunately, Apple hasn’t confirmed a fix so it’s unclear when or even if this issue will be remedied.

If iOS 11.3 problems emerge on your phone or tablet, take a look at our list of fixes for common iOS 11 problems. We’ve also released tips to improve iOS 11 performance and tips to improve iOS 11 battery life on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

Unfortunately, if you downloaded iOS 11.3 you’re on your own until Apple rolls out a new version of iOS 11.

Apple is no longer signing off on iOS 11.2.6 which means you can no longer drop back down to an older version of iOS 11 in an effort to improve performance.

The company’s stopped signing off on iOS 11.2.5, iOS 11.2.2, iOS 11.2.1, iOS 11.2, or any of its older iOS updates as well. This is a permanent change and the company won’t open these downgrades up again.

iOS 11.3 Jailbreak

If you want to keep your jailbreak, avoid iOS 11.3.

The iOS 11 update has been jailbroken, but developers still haven’t released anything for iOS 11.2, iOS 11.2.1, iOS 11.2.2, iOS 11.2.5, iOS 11.2.6, or iOS 11.3.

The only way you can jailbreak a device running iOS 11 is if it’s running iOS 11.0-iOS 11.1.2. Unfortunately, there’s no way to downgrade to any of these.

Jailbreak developers typically don’t burn their jailbreaks on early pre-release software so those of you running early versions of iOS 11 should avoid the iOS 11.3 update.

For more about the iOS 11 jailbreak, take a look at our roundup.

What’s Next

While many are hoping for an iOS 11.3.1 release to correct bugs and performance issues, Apple hasn’t confirmed a maintenance release. That said, the company has confirmed a new milestone upgrade.

Apple’s released a new iOS 11.4 update in beta form for developers and the general public ahead of an unknown release date. Milestone upgrades typically stay in beta for several weeks before the final version is released to the public.

We expect iOS 11.4 to serve as the bridge between iOS 11 and iOS 12.

Apple’s reportedly working on iOS 12, the operating system that will replace iOS 11 alongside the iPhone 11 this fall.

The company’s iOS 12 update is expected to come with new features, including new emoji characters, though some features have reportedly been pushed into 2019 so the company can address performance and quality issues.

The iOS 12 update will likely make its debut in the summer at the company’s annual WWDC developer conference and we expect an iOS 12 beta to run alongside iOS 11 as we push into the fall.

4 Reasons Not to Install iOS 11.4 & 8 Reasons You Should

Install iOS 11.4 for Better Security

Install iOS 11.4 for Better Security

The iOS 11.4 update comes with 30+ patches aimed at improving your device's security making it an essential download for most iPhone and iPad users. 

iOS 11.4 also reportedly comes with a USB Restricted Mode that disables the Lightning port on your iPhone or iPad if a device hasn't been unlocked or connected to a computer using a passcode within the last week.

If you missed any of Apple's previous iOS updates, your iOS 11.4 update could come with a lot more.

If you skipped iOS 11.3.1, your iOS 11.4 update comes with iOS 11.3.1's four security patches.

If you skipped iOS 11.3, your iOS 11.4 update comes with 27 additional patches for potential exploits. Those of you lingering on iOS 11.2.6 would be wise to make the move sooner rather than later.

If you missed iOS 11.3, your iOS 11.4 update also includes a new privacy feature. When an Apple feature wants to use your personal information, an icon now appears with a link to access detailed information about how your data will be used and protected.

If you're running iOS 11.2.5 or older, you're currently exposed to an issue that lets people send a specific character that will crash an iOS-powered device and block access to the Messages app. It can also block apps like Facebook Messenger, Gmail, Outlook, and WhatsApp.

The iOS 11.2.6 update's main purpose was to patch up this issue. If you skipped iOS 11.2.6, you'll get these enhancements with iOS 11.4.

If you skipped iOS 11.2.5, you'll get 10 additional security patches including one for the malicious chaiOS link exploit.

If you're running iOS 11.2.2 or below and receive a certain GitHub link through your Messages app, your iPhone or iPad can lockup or respring. The Messages app will also become unusable.

If you're on iOS 11.2.1, your iOS 11.4 update includes security improvements to Safari and WebKit to mitigate the effects of Spectre.

Apple's iOS 11.2 update fixed several problems, but it also brought problems of its own including a potentially nasty zero-day iOS HomeKit vulnerability.

The vulnerability, discovered by Tian Zhang, allowed for unauthorized control of HomeKit accessories including garage door openers and smart locks.

Apple quickly rolled out a server-side fix, but the company restored full functionality with the release of iOS 11.2.1. If you skipped iOS 11.2.1 and use HomeKit, you should download iOS 11.4 right now.

If you skipped iOS 11.2, you'll get a few more patches with your iOS 11.4 update. Apple's iOS 11.2 update delivered 11 patches including one for Mail and one for Wi-Fi.

The iOS 11.2 and iOS 11.2.1 updates also patched up a widespread security issue called "Meltdown." Apple says its analysis suggests it "has the most potential to be exploited."

Meltdown affects all iOS 11 powered devices so we highly recommend downloading iOS 11.4 if you skipped iOS 11.2.

If you skipped iOS 11.1.2, iOS 11.1.1, and iOS 11.1, you'll get additional patches with your iOS 11.4 update.

The iOS 11.1 update delivered eight security patches including a fix for a serious Wi-Fi vulnerability called KRACK or Key Reinstallation Attack. KRACK is an exploit that targets the common WPA2 encryption protocol.

If you're just now making to move from iOS 10 (or whatever you're on) to iOS 11, your iOS 11.4 update will come with even more security features.

Apple's first iOS 11 update delivered several patches for potential exploits. iOS 11 also comes with new security features aimed at keeping your data safe.

In iOS 11 you can't establish trust with a PC using fingerprints alone. You'll also need to put in a full passcode in order to gain that trust.

If you want to protect the data you store on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you should make your move to the latest version of iOS. This is particularly important for those of you running older versions of iOS.

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