It seems like just yesterday we were graced with the latest iPhone updates, but as quickly as animojis came, they're being improved! Last week, Apple announced the major updates and changes that they will be making to their latest operating system -- iOS 11.3.
Hot on the heels of Google's venture into augmented reality, Apple will be releasing their very own ARKit. While they don't dive into specifics (so more Storm Troopers may be out of the question here...) Apple claims that their kit will be able to recognize real-world objects and place them on vertical surfaces.
This use of augmented reality may not be as fun for the regular Joe's of the world but may prove useful to creatives. For example, interior designers will be able to quickly design room prototypes, artists may be able to develop immersive galleries, and businesses can design interactive pop-ups.
Apple's facial recognition will continue, as more animojis will be added to iMessage. That's right -- becoming a dog or a unicorn via text just wasn't enough. Now, users can transform into a lion, bear, skull or dragon, putting their fancy True Depth iPhone X camera to good use. Sadly, this intricate feature -- which requires an imaging process that recognizes over 50 facial muscle movements a la Avatar -- is only available on the high-end iPhone.
Luckily, iPhone X isn't the only Apple phone getting some love. The overall update will introduce Business Chat, which allows iPhone users to talk to businesses directly from their iMessage. According to Apple, this feature doesn't share locations or contact information, but does serve as a better form of chatbot and lets users purchase a product in the conversation with Apple Pay. Talk about easier online shopping!
What's more? iOS 11.3 places a strong emphasis on health and wellness through a streamlined Health app. This built-in feature encourages users to sync their health records from various medical institutions. Much like the Oscar Health app, Apple's version allows users to immediately see lab results, upcoming procedures, necessary prescription medications and more.
In addition to the aforementioned big changes, this update will automatically send a user's location when they make an emergency call through Advanced Mobile Location (AML), curate better Top Stories in Apple News for better discovery of information, and add music videos to Apple Music (we're looking at you, T-Swift...).
Plus, battery life and health will be easily accessible for users to view. This feature is particularly long overdue, especially following Apple's admission of purposefully slowing down older phones to encourage users to upgrade. Looks like we won't be in the dark anymore.
You can view Apple iOS 11.3 beta preview here. Users with an iPhone 5s or newer, all iPad Air and iPad Pro models, iPad 5th generation, iPad mini 2 and later and iPod touch 6th generation can download the software update for free this spring.