Apple releases iOS 10.3 beta to developers. Here’s everything new

iOS 10.3 beta has been released to developers, for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The update contains a number of new features which includes functionality to find AirPods, enhancements to SiriKit, changes to how app ratings and reviews work, design and animation updates and much more.

iOS 10.3 Beta 1

Following up on last year’s major point 3 upgrade to iOS 9 i.e. iOS 9.3, Apple has released iOS 10.3 beta with a number of changes and new features.

Here is the complete list of new features found in the first iOS 10.3 developer preview:

  • Siri can now tell cricket scores and relevant information about cricket players and teams.
  • SiriKit has been enhanced to allow for more third party actions which includes scheduling future car rides, bill payments and more. These will only work once apps are updated to support them.
  • App opening animation now has rounded corners. Considering that apps like Snapchat and Facebook Messenger already have rounded corners, this might be an indication of a design trend making a come back from the Palm webOS era.
  • iCloud login and settings have been moved to the top of Settings app. This page also lists all devices associated with the iCloud ID, and their details. A new redesigned iCloud storage page is also included which shows a usage bar similar to what can be see in About This Mac in all Macs.
  • New API for developers which lets users rate the app without leaving it and going to the App Store. The ratings dialogue will allow users to rate the app out of 5 stars. Developers will also be able to show app review requests only 3 times per year. Great news for users annoyed by the pesky review buttons. Developers can now also reply to App Store reviews.
  • Apple’s Podcasts app now has its own Notification Center widget.
  • Find AirPods feature has been added to Find iPhone app.
  • iOS 10.3 uses APFS which is short for Apple File System. Apple announced this at WWDC 2016. In short, it is a file system built for modern flash storage based devices. It also supports file cloning which will reduce space needed to store files, snapshots and encryption. For complete details, go here.
  • There are many more minor updates to Mail, Safari, Siri, CarPlay, Maps and other apps.

While last year’s iOS 9.3 had some useful new groundbreaking features for iPad, iOS 10.3 beta does not change much for Apple’s tablet audience. Users were expecting Apple to double down on iOS for iPad to provide more productive features, specially to iPad Pro users. This is just the first beta so things might change with future releases.

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