iOS 9.3 has been the biggest incremental update in several years. Apple has introduced software features that go as far as changing sleeping habits. It has the long desired iPhone night shift feature that controls the blue light levels emitted from screen. There are other useful features such as multi user support for students, Apple notes locked behind a password (or Touch ID) and tweaked news, health and Apple Car Play apps. iOS 9.3 is compatible with the iPhone 4S or later, iPad 2 or later, iPad mini or later, iPad pro and 5th generation iPod touch or later.
Night shift is the iOS 9.3 solution. With this feature, the user need not change night time reading and working habits. The screen is automatically tinted to warmer colors. Many studies have shown that exposure to bright blue light in the evening can affect circadian rhythm and make it harder to fall asleep. The feature uses the clock and geo-location to determine the sunset and the screen becomes progressively more orange tinted throughout the night exactly like flux on Macs. The completely optional night shift mode can be found in settings with a slide bar to control how orange or blue it looks and also to adjust the schedule.
Apple’s swipe up from the bottom control center overlay menu adds night shift to the bottom row of quick settings. It is also flanked by flashlight and timer on the left and calculator and camera on the right. Everything has been designed for eyes to relax so that falling asleep is easier. While waking up the screen color shifts back to normal.
iOS 9.3 has another beautiful feature of multi user support. However, it is strictly for classroom iPads right now. Apple calls the new app suit “iOS in education and the highlight is the fact that it enables students to log into any iPad in any classroom and pick up where they left off. It makes a lot of sense for a school’s shared iPad experience and it comes with photo ID’s to denote profiles and simple passwords for younger students. iOS in education also include three other apps meant for teacher and school officials: a new classroom app for teach guided lessons that ensures the students follow along and Apple school manager for consolidated admin portals.
Before the new iOS 9.3, keeping confidential information in Apple note could be a little risky. Anyone could nab unlocked iPhone and scan the secrets being jotted down. Fortunately, the power of touch ID and pass codes are now a part of Apple notes. Many people keep all the financial data, medical information and passwords in this not so secret app. iOS 9.3 allows vulnerable folks to protect certain notes under lock and finger print for extra security. It allows to sort everything by date created, date modified and alphabetically now.
Apple tried to give a one stop shop for news last year with the news app. It is getting more personal with 9.3 showing stories that are tailored to personal interests. One can see more articles that one wants to read plus suggested trending topics of the day.