Apple releases iOS 10.3 bringing Find My AirPods, APFS implementation and more

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Apple has released iOS 10.3 bringing Find My AirPods, APFS implementation, and other improvements for developers and the App Store.

iOS 10.3 includes includes the Find My AirPods feature, and a new reviews API which limits how often an app can ask users to submit ratings on the App Store.

In addition, the update to iOS 10.3 migrates the device to Apple’s HFS+, HFSX, and iOS file system replacement APFS. The new file system is built for future expansion, and jumps to a 64-bit inode number allowing the OS to track more than 9 quintillion files on a disk, adds support for Sparse files, builds in support for extended file attributes, and implements support for full disk and individual file encryption across all of Apple’s platforms using multiple keys for user data.

Find My AirPods can play a sound to help users find an AirPod misplaced nearby, and it also saves the last known location of when an AirPod was connected to an iOS device via Bluetooth, but it can’t locate the AirPods when the iPhone isn’t nearby nor can it locate the Charging Case.

Some App Store changes allow developers to respond to customer reviews for the first time. iOS users are also able to label reviews in the App Store as “Helpful” or “Not Helpful” for surfacing more relevant review content, and Apple plans to limit the number of times developers can ask for a review. The update even adds a master switch that lets customers turn off app review request prompts all together.

Other new features in iOS 10.3 include a revamped open/close animation for apps, an Apple ID profile in Settings, a better breakdown of iCloud storage usage, warnings about outdated apps that may not work with future versions of iOS and could slow down devices, HomeKit support for programmable light switches, improvements to SiriKit (bill paying, bill status, and scheduling future rides), CarPlay interface improvements, and iCloud analytics options.

iOS 10.3 update summary:
iOS 10.3 introduces new features including the ability to locate AirPods using Find my iPhone and more ways to use Siri with payment, ride booking and automaker apps.

Find My iPhone
– View the current or last known location of your AirPods
– Play a sound on one or both AirPods to help you find them

– Support for paying and checking status of bills with payment apps
– Support for scheduling with ride booking apps
– Support for checking car fuel level, lock status, turning on lights and activating horn with automaker apps
– Cricket sports scores and statistics for Indian Premier League and International Cricket Council

– Shortcuts in the status bar for easy access to last used apps
Apple Music Now Playing screen gives access to Up Next and the currently playing song’s album
– Daily curated playlists and new music categories in Apple Music

Other improvements and fixes
– Rent once and watch your iTunes movies across your devices
– New Settings unified view for your Apple ID account information, settings and devices
– Hourly weather in Maps using 3D Touch on the displayed current temperature
– Support for searching “parked car” in Maps
– Calendar adds the ability to delete an unwanted invite and report it as junk
– Home app support to trigger scenes using accessories with switches and buttons
– Home app support for accessory battery level status
– Podcasts support for 3D Touch and Today widget to access recently updated shows
– Podcast shows or episodes are shareable to Messages with full playback support
– Fixes an issue that could prevent Maps from displaying your current location after resetting Location & Privacy
– VoiceOver stability improvements for Phone, Safari and Mail

Rapid Mobile seriously recommends performing a full, encrypted backup prior to updating to iOS 10.3.

iOS 10.3 can be downloaded as an over-the-air update via the software update feature on compatible iOS devices. Alternatively, it can be downloaded in iTunes, and installed to a connected device.

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