Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Apple Previews iOS 9.3

Lots of really nice features coming to iOS, particularly for educational iPad users. Stephen Hackett, quoting Apple’s education preview page:

When a 1:1 student-to-iPad ratio isn’t possible, Shared iPad offers an elegant solution that lets students enjoy the benefits of having their own iPad in whatever classroom they’re in. They simply log in to any iPad, and their content is ready to go.

I have a million questions about this. My assumption is that the students’ “home folders,” to borrow a Mac phrase, are being loaded onto the iPad on-demand, but it’s unclear at this point from the public webpage. I’m sure Caching Server is playing a big role here.

I’d love to see some of these features be available on iOS in a broader way, especially the multi-user support.

This seems like a halfway point between the single-user iOS of today and a multi-user option for, say, iOS 10. Multi-user support isn’t new to mobile operating systems, but the way Apple has implemented it here appears very clever, including providing younger users with a simple four-digit PIN to memorize instead of a username and password.

Federico Viticci previews some changes to the Health app:

… iOS 9.3 will include third-party app recommendations in the Health app, where users will also be able to see move, exercise, stand, and goal data from a paired Apple Watch. In the individual category pages, Health will highlight apps for tracking specific metrics – such as weight or steps – linking to the app’s product page on the App Store.

The Activity integration in Health looks a lot like an embedded Activity view, and the Activity app itself gained a specific Workouts view in addition to History and Achievements. But those could easily be added to the Health app, leading me to question why both apps exist. Activity is Watch-specific, but I’m not sure I understand why it needs to be, or why Health should be treated separately; the distinction seems fuzzy.

Apple will also Sherlock f.lux in this update, which should appeal to those who hate seeing things with the correct colour palette.

There will also be new companion versions of tvOS (9.2) and watchOS (2.2) available approximately alongside iOS 9.3.