Apple has announced the iOS 11.3 update for compatible iPhone, iPad iPod touch models. The upcoming update will include improvements to Apple’s augmented reality software ARKit and bring in new Animoji for the iPhone X.

New AR Experiences With ARKit 1.5

With the arrival of iOS 11.3, it will also deliver ARKit 1.5 for iPhones and iPads. The update is intended to integrate AR experiences with the real world a whole lot better. When ARKit was first released, it allowed iOS devices to detect surfaces, like tables and chairs, where augmented reality objects can be placed.

With ARKit 1.5, iPhones and iPad will now be able to recognize vertical surfaces like walls and doors. The update also allows ARKit to more accurately map irregularly shaped surfaces like circular tables.

ARKit 1.5 Apple's iOS 11.3 update also includes ARKit 1.5, which improves augmented reality experiences. Photo: Apple

“Using advanced computer vision techniques to find and recognize the position of 2D images such as signs, posters, and artwork, ARKit can integrate these real world images into AR experiences such as filling a museum with inteFractive exhibits or bringing a movie poster to life,” Apple said. “The view of the real world through the camera now has 50 percent greater resolution and supports auto-focus for an even sharper perspective.”

New Animoji For The iPhone X

Animoji Apple adds four new Animoji to the iPhone X with iOS 11.3. Photo: Apple

The iOS 11.3 update also adds a few more Animoji characters to Messages. Apple will add four new Animoji: a lion, bear, dragon and skull. The upcoming new additions will soon allow iPhone X users to choose from a total of 16 different characters to express themselves in Messages.

Business Chat In Messages

Business Chat Apple's Business Chat will be available as a beta when iOS 11.3 is released this spring. Photo: Apple

Business Chat was first revealed by Apple back in June 2017 during WWDC. It allows users to easily contact businesses’ customer support directly from the Messages app. Apple says that Business Chat will be publicly be available in Beta with the release of iOS 11.3 this spring. Discover, Hilton, Lowe’s and Wells Fargo will be the very first business that will test out Business Chat.

“With Business Chat, it's easy to have a conversation with a service representative, schedule an appointment or make purchases using Apple Pay in the Messages app. Business Chat doesn’t share the user’s contact information with businesses and gives users the ability to stop chatting at any time,” Apple said.

Monitor Battery Health

Apple has been heavily criticized when it admitted it intentionally slowed down performance of older iPhones with aging batteries. The company said that it decided to slow down iPhone performance so that users of older iPhone models would stop experiencing unexpected shutdowns or restarts. The only way to bring back the full performance of older iPhones was by replacing its old batteries with new ones.

With iOS 11.3, users will soon be able to know if their battery needs to be serviced and or replaced. This new feature can be found under Settings>Battery. Apple says that this particular feature will be available for iPhone 6 and later.

iOS 11.3 will also allow users to turn off the power management feature that slowed down older iPhones. This setting can be found under Settings>Battery. Apple says that this feature will be available for the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, iPhone SE, 6s, 6s Plus, 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus.

Health App To Include Health Records

Health App Health records from hospitals and clinic will now be integrated in Apple's Health app. Photo: Apple

Apple’s Health app will finally get a major update with iOS 11.3. The Health app will now be able to integrate the user’s health records from hospitals and clinics. The user’s health records will now be available to see within the app in just one screen.

Users will also be able to get notifications for lab results, medications and more, according to 9To5Mac. Apple says that the user's health record data will be encrypted with a passcode, so users won’t have to worry about privacy.

Other Features In iOS 11.3

Apple Music on iOS 11.3 will include music videos. Apple Music subscribers will be able to stream and watch all the music videos they want without any ads. Apple Music will also have a playlists for music videos, as well.

Apple News also gets improved in iOS 11.3. Videos of the day will now be grouped in the For You section of the app. HomeKit software authentication has also been improved in iOS 11.3, allowing developers to add HomeKit support to existing accessories.

iOS 11.3 Release Date & Compatibility

Apple didn’t provide an exact release date for the iOS 11.3 update, but the company said that it will arrive this spring. The developer preview for iOS 11.3 is available now from Apple’s developer website, while a public beta version will also be released sometime later.

The iOS 11.3 update will be available for free and will be compatible for the iPhone 5 and later, all iPad Air and iPad Pro models, iPad 5th generation, iPad mini 2 and later and the iPod touch 6th generation.