Apple’s confirmed another iOS 11 update for the fall and if we’re lucky it’ll deliver more than person-to-person Apple Pay payments in Messages.
The iOS 11.0 update is loaded with new features for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch though a few highly anticipated features are missing from the first official release.
In June Apple confirmed a new Apple Pay feature that will let iOS 11 and watchOS 4 users pay and get paid in Messages, or tell Siri to pay someone using the credit and debit cards stored in the Wallet app.
Unfortunately, the feature isn’t available in the current version of iOS 11 though Apple’s promised to deliver it to iOS users sometime this fall.
Person-to-person payments and Apple Pay Cash aren’t the only features Apple’s saving for a future iOS 11 release.
Earlier this year the company confirmed plans to release new emoji characters including Woman with Headscarf, Bearded Person, Breastfeeding, Sandwich, Coconut, T-Rex, Zebra, Zombie, Elf, and Star-Struck and Exploding Head smiley faces.
The announcement revealed plans to release the emoji inside of an iOS 11 update later this year. Like the changes to Apple Pay, we expect these characters to be released inside of a milestone upgrade.
In 2016, the iOS 10.2 update delivered Unicode 9.0 and its new emoji characters to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch keyboards. iOS 10.2 was released on December 12th after a stint in the company’s beta program.
The company hasn’t revealed a specific release date or iOS 11 version though the company typically uses milestone upgrades to deliver new features. In other words, we should see this feature arrive in iOS 11.1 or iOS 11.2 and not iOS 11.0.1 or iOS 11.0.2. The company’s X.x.x updates are typically reserved for maintenance releases which typically include bug fixes and security.
Last year, the company announced its iOS 10.1 update and seeded a beta to developers on September 21st, just a little over a week after the release of iOS 10.0. iOS 10.1 was eventually released on October 24th with a long list of new features, fixes, and enhancements.
Apple also released iOS 10.0.1, iOS 10.0.2, and iOS 10.0.3 bug fix updates ahead of the iOS 10.1 release. With iOS 11 problems plaguing many iPhone and iPad users, we could see the company push out smaller updates ahead of its first milestone iOS 11 update.
The iOS 11 update is available for iPhone 5s and later, all iPad Air and iPad Pro models, iPad 5th generation, iPad mini 2 and later and iPod touch 6th generation.
And while the emojis will likely come to all of Apple’s iOS 11-powered devices, person to person payments and Apple Pay Cash will be available in the United States on the iPhone SE, iPhone 6 and later, iPad Pro, iPad 5th generation, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, and Apple Watch only.
Install iOS 11.3 for Better Security
iOS 11.3 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 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 11.3.
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 11.3 update includes security improvements to Safari and WebKit to mitigate the effects of Spectre. If you're running an older version of iOS, your iOS 11.3 update will come with a lot more.
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 11.3.
If you skipped iOS 11.2, you'll get a few more patches with your iOS 11.3 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 11.3 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 11.3 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 11.3 update will come with additional security features.
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 skipped older versions of iOS, your iOS 11.3 update will come with an even longer list of security patches.
Apple's iOS 10.3.3 update delivered 24 security patches addressing potential issues with Contacts, Messages, Notifications, and Safari. It also included a patch for a potentially dangerous Wi-Fi exploit called "Broadpwn."
If you skipped iOS 10.3.2 you'll get 23 additional patches with iOS 11.3. And if for some reason you missed iOS 10.3, you'll get 60 security patches with your iOS 11.3 update.
If you want to protect the data you store on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you should make your move to iOS 11 and iOS 11.3 soon.
This is particularly important for those of you running older versions of iOS.