iOS 9.3 is a surprising mix of smaller tweaks and important additions to the iOS experience such as Night Shift, Classroom, and multi-student support on iPad. In many ways, iOS 9.3 feels like the Director’s Cut of iOS 9.0 – features the company wanted to have ready by September but couldn’t ship due to time constraints and other factors.
Some of the changes in iOS 9.3 are welcome but unsurprising, while others seem to suggest bigger things to come in iOS 10. I’m excited to see what’s next.
I really like that line — “the director’s cut of iOS 9” — and that’s exactly what it feels like.
One thing I haven’t seen anywhere else is that iOS 9.3 sets no vibration as the default for Mail notifications. It’s an odd change. My hunch is that it’s for better battery life, but that comes at the potential expense of no email notifications if you keep your iPhone in vibrate-only mode all day long, as I do. Even if you have an Apple Watch, you might miss Mail notifications because the Watch is set to mirror the iPhone’s settings by default: no vibration on iPhone means no vibration on the Watch. If anyone can provide a more concrete explanation for this change, I’d love to hear it.
I haven’t tested tvOS, but it appears to solve some of my usability frustrations simply by adding dictation to text entry fields. That sounds great to me.
This is a very impressive set of updates, particularly when you consider that Apple will be pushing it to somewhere approaching a billion devices in active use around the world. That’s a staggering scale, and you should probably be one of those people updating your devices. Among the array of new features, there are also plenty of security patches for all devices.