Mid-cycle iOS Update

Apple shipping new features in iOS 9.3

This latest iOS release adds numerous innovations to the world’s most advanced mobile operating system. There are improvements to a wide range of apps, along with great new additions to CarPlay. iOS 9.3 may even help you get a good night’s sleep. And you’ll find a preview of new features that will make using iPad in schools easier and better for students and admins.

[via Apple]

This is the first time since the original iPad and iOS 3.2 that I can recall Apple doing a mid-cycle iOS update with new features. Every September with the release of that year’s iOS there is always a slew of new features, but in the interim it seems Apple’s most popular OS can feel a bit stale. This mid-cycle feature update is by no means indication for a trend, but I might like to see more of it. After all, Google (through a different deployment strategy) is able to stay on top of things throughout the year, so it would be great if Apple started doing this sorta thing.

Night Shift

If you’ve heard of f.lux, either on your Mac or through jail breaking, it looks like Apple is finally Sherlocking this app.


Notes is finally going secure, either with a password, or with Touch ID. Obviously there are numerous note taking apps out there, but I like Notes best. It’s simple, it syncs among all my devices, and as of iOS 9 has a robust enough feature-set for most. As a privacy-wonk it’s great to see another level of protection applied to the notes app.

Car Play

Apple has been talking the talk about Car Play for a while, but they’re not walking the walk. This year a few companies might be on board, but I doubt this feature is going anywhere.

Apple, stop trying to make fetch happen. Fetch isn’t going to happen.


Shared iPad

When a 1:1 student-to-iPad ratio isn’t possible, Shared iPad offers an elegant solution that lets students enjoy the benefits of having their own iPad in whatever classroom they’re in. They simply log in to any iPad, and their content is ready to go.

Folks, especially families, have been pining to multi-user iOS for ages. It is so incredibly common to hear of families and their children sharing a communal iPad that it boggles the mind that Apple hasn’t introduced this feature yet.

This looks like a step in the right direction, but I’m afraid Apple might drop the ball on this and only make it available for educators. It’s all well and good to have an education-centric feature like this, but it would be far far more loved and used by the common person than educators alone. Perhaps it’ll be a pillar of iOS 10.


The iOS 9.3 developer beta was released today. I’m on the consumer beta track, so I should have access in a few weeks. I’ll make a post about my thoughts after I get a chance to test it out.

Typically the time from dev beta to public release is 4-6 weeks, so tentatively expect 9.3 to be ready in February.

Typed on Octopage

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