Apple Releases iOS 11.3

This update is probably going to be thought of as the “we’re sorry we didn’t tell everyone about performance throttling on iPhones with reduced battery life” version of iOS, but there are plenty of new features in it as well. I like the bigger and better Animoji selection, enhanced privacy features — likely partially encouraged by GDPR compliance — and Safari improvements designed to impede surreptitious efforts to track users via form autofill.

Notably absent from this release, however, are AirPlay 2 and Messages in the Cloud, both of which appeared in early betas before being removed from the public release. I don’t know about AirPlay 2, by Messages in the Cloud has remained buggy in every iteration I’ve tested: messages frequently take a while to sync, and occasionally appear wildly out of order. That’s the kind of thing that needs to be fixed before it’s released publicly.

At the same time, this delay isn’t going to help Apple’s recent reputation as a company that has trouble meeting its own deadlines. Bugs happen and plans change — I get that. But incidents like these build up and make it harder to rely upon other shipping promises, like those made earlier this week.

As usual, a slew of other software updates were released today, including WatchOS 4.3, tvOS 11.3, MacOS 10.13.4, and an update for the publicly-unnamed HomePod operating system.