[iOS 9.3] New features and 3D Touch shortcuts

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The first beta version of iOS 9.3 became available to developers yesterday and it brings an impressive number of new features as well as a fresh set of 3D Touch shortcuts. Among the highlights of this update you’ll find a new night mode (finally!), several languages added to Siri and improvements to Notes, News, Health and CarPlay apps.

iOS 9.3 beta is now available, so if your device is already running on an older beta version of iOS 9.2.1 you can launch the Settings app and head over to General > Software Update to trigger an OTA update and get the latest version.

With that said, here are all the new features which are currently included in iOS 9.3 (some changes may occur until the final version is released):

  • Night Shift mode

Night Shift mode

This smart feature relies on the current time and geolocation of your device to detect when the sun sets and at that point it will warm up the colors of your display to make it night-friendly and revert to the original settings in the morning.

  • Health gets improved dashboard and Apple Watch activity data

Health app

The Health app shows Apple Watch activity data and allows you to find third-party apps more easily. Several categories, including Workouts, Weight and Sleep allow you to discover quality apps via a new slider menu.

  • Password and fingerprint protection for Notes app

 

Password and fingerprint protection for Notes

Considering some of the stuff you save in your Notes app may be personal, iOS 9.3 adds support for password and fingerprint (Touch ID). Also the updated app will offer note sorting options using various criteria, specifically creation date, modification date or alphabetically.

  • More customization options in News

News app

The News app received a lot of attention for this update and it’s now better optimized to display articles in the For You section according to your personal interests. Furthermore, videos can now be played directly from the feed and landscape mode is now available for the iPhone. Another improvement consists of faster loading of new articles.

  • CarPlay gets better support for Apple Music and Maps improvements

CarPlay

Since we can all agree that listening to music while driving is a universal staple, the improved Apple Music support CarPlay received in iOS 9.3 will surely be appreciated. You’ll be able to access the New and For You sections of Apple Music and Maps received a new Nearby feature that offers one tap search of places such as restaurants, gas stations, parking and others.

  • iOS Education upgrades

iOS in Education

Apple’s Education program is adding a bunch of new features to the iPad, as to make it more useful in class for both teachers and students. iOS 9.3 beta offers a preview of these features which include iPad sharing functions so one device can be used by several students and a new Classroom app.

  • New 3D Touch shortcuts

I’m sure many of you have been eagerly awaiting to get to this part, and so have we, as we’re definitely huge fans of 3D Touch. While more could be added before iOS 9.3 final arrives, for now Weather, Settings, Health, Compass, iTunes Store and App Store apps have received new 3D Touch shortcuts. You can see them all in the gallery below:

  • Other new features and improvements

The list of interesting features iOS 9.3 brings to the table doesn’t end to the ones mentioned above. Given the fact it will be a while until the update exits beta, at the very least we can expect to see a few more tweaks here and there but until then, feast your eyes with the list below:

-Option to jump to related apps from Apple Pay and passes in Wallet app

-New ‘Duplicate’ option in Photos app

-Option to Duplicate a Live Photo as a Still Photo when exporting from the Photos app

-Multiple Watch units can be added to the same iPhone starting with iOS 9.3 and watchOS 2.2

-Siri adds support for Hebrew, Finish, and Malay (not available yet on the Apple Watch)

-Apple Watch Activity app now has a ‘New Workout’ data section

-Taptic Feedback when accessing multitasking via 3D Touch

-Ability to sync PDFs added to iCloud for iBooks and more

What do you think of all the new features included in iOS 9.3 and which one’s your favorite? Let us know in the comments section below or drop us a line on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.