Apple has taken the wraps off iOS 9.3, the latest update to its mobile operating system that runs on the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Revealed at the company’s town hall auditorium event Monday, the update encompasses a wide range of much-requested features, including a new Night Shift mode that reduces blue light from screens in the evenings.
The iOS 9.3 update is available beginning Monday. A user can install the new update by first going to the Settings application on the device, then selecting General, then selecting Software Update and then following the instructions. Alternatively, a user can plug the device into a personal computer, open the iTunes app and check for software updates on the device Settings page. The iTunes app will then install the update without using the device’s storage.
The Night Shift feature, controlled from either the Settings app or a new toggle in the Control Center, gives users the option of automatically activating it during certain times of day, reducing the blue light emissions that researchers have claimed affects sleeping patterns. Night Shift works similarly to Flux Software’s f.lux, an app compatible with several operating systems but is unavailable on non-jailbroken iPhones.
Apple’s update also brings support for new educational tools to iPads, including multiple user account logins that let students save their work to profiles separate from those of their classmates. The iPad is used in some school environments, so a built-in device management solution should be a welcome addition.
The update also brings password protection to Notes, complete with Touch ID support, with a new update of the Mac OS supporting the password protected Notes on the desktop side. In addition, changes in Health and News include small refinements, such as support for viewing activity data logged by the Apple Watch.
CarPlay, Apple’s in-car entertainment user interface powered by connected iPhones, also now supports the New and For You sections of the Apple Music streaming service. And the Maps app in CarPlay has a new Nearby feature, which enables users to first choose from a list of local amenities such as banks or movie theaters and then request directions immediately.
Free of charge, the iOS 9.3 update will run on all devices that support iOS 9.