Apple finally released its biggest update with iOS 10.3, getting a major overhaul and packed with many new features. In fact they also released a new beta version 10.3.2 to developers the very next day. This update would now gobble up less storage than before, this could be a treat to 16GB iPad or iPhone users.
Here’s a quick list of the features introduced in the new OS update
1. New file system
Among all the changes Apple introduced in this OS version, this is the biggest and riskiest change. Apple changed a basic part of how every iPhone and iPad works and as a part of the iOS 10.3 update, it introduced its file system- APFS, or the way the computer keeps its data and knows how and where to find it. Upgrading from 19-year-old HFS+, Apple updated iPhones, macOS, watchOS, tvOS and iPads to its new Apple File System, which is optimized for Flash storage, SSD optimisation, and features improved file system fundamentals, improved backups, strong encryption and cross platform full disk. This would free up exabytes of storage in iOS 10.3. It would enable iPads and iPhones run smooth and faster.
A word of caution though if you haven’t upgraded to iOS 10.3 yet – BACK UP YOUR DEVICE.
There is a big risk in updating to the new OS without a backup. Once you update to 10.3 and your file system is converted to APFS, you cannot roll back without wiping your phone and reinstalling and older iOS verison. So if something goes wrong during the update and you haven’t backed up, you won’t be able to recover ANY data because it would all have been converted to APFS.
2. Find my AirPods
This feature is definitely a thumbs up because almost everyone at some point can lose their AirPods even if they are in the house itself. The new Find my AirPods feature in the Find my iPhone app would instantly play a high pitched sound with increasing frequency on the AirPods. But this only works if the AirPods are connected to the iPhone via Bluetooth or else you’ll see the last location.
3. Siri updates & iCloud storage breakdown
Siri would now give updates from all cricket matches (for all the IPL fans)!. She is now more intelligent and quicker.
Another interesting feature we have here is the iCloud storage Breakdown in the iCloud section of the Apple ID section in the Settings app, which shows your complete iCloud Storage space with a bar chart and also enumerates all the apps that use iCloud. Settings for Keychain, iCloud Backup and Find My iPhone are also included.
4. Maps app updates
This is a nice small change in the Maps feature where it now has 3D Touch support for Apple’s Weather app. So while you search for any area in any city, you’d get a little weather icon in the bottom-right that will provide detailed weather forecast in the Weather app. Secondly, now there is a flat earth view instead of the 3D spinning globe.
5. Small UI/UX updates
- Many animations have been slightly shortened and tweaked for improved results and as a result iOS 10.3 feels faster (see Renaud Lienhart’s tweet). This update has definitely made devices noticeably faster and more responsive.
- A new animation when closing apps
- When entering a passcode, you’ll now see circles as an empty state instead of dashes
- Some of the buttons have also been changed in the Mail app. You’ll see up/down arrow for switching between emails. The icon for unread emails is also much clearer now.
- Redesigned Settings Page and New Profile Section
A new developer beta iOS 10.3.2 has already been made available to developers. But there are two major changes with this OS for devs which they’ve been asking for for long now.
1. Developers will now be able to change app icons without an app update
The developers will now have an option to alter the app icon without an update – BUT there’s a limitation. The app icon could only be changed once the user permits for it.
2. You can finally leave replies to App Store reviews
Apple now finally allows app developers to leave replies to App Store reviews which will be visible publicly. This has for long been a point of contention with developers as the only way they could keep users updated was via the App Store description. Considering how Google has allowed this for such a long time, this is a welcome move.
Should I upgrade?
By all means, yes! But don’t forget to backup your device before you do. This way, just in case something goes wrong, you can always restore your device from a backup and not lose any data.