What’s New in iOS 10.3 Beta 1

Apple today seeded the first beta of what would become the third major software update to iOS 10 since its September 2016 release. The release includes a new Find My AirPods feature and other enhancements, like Reduce Motion for websites.

iOS 10.3 beta 1 (build 14E5230e) is available to registered developers who are members of Apple Developer Program. A version of the software aimed at public beta testers registered with Apple Beta Software Program is expected shortly.

Now that the first look at iOS 10.3 has been revealed, it doesn’t look like Theater Mode made the cut for the first beta, but there were a few key additions.
    • The Find My iPhone app now includes Find My AirPods
    • Reduced Motion is now supported in Safari for web apps
    • SiriKit now includes the ability to support paying bills, schedule future ride-hailing rides, and check the status of payments.
    • CarPlay now has a dedicated shortcut to launch recently used apps
    • CarPlay will now show EV charging locations
    • Navigation improvements have arrived for conversations in the Mail app
    • HomeKit now supports expanded switch accessories
    • New 3D Touch Weather actions
    • Spotlight Search now has a border
    • The Podcasts app now officially has a widget similar to the Music app
    • There’s a new user security section in Settings

Update 1:

Well known hacker and developer, Steven Troughton-Smith has discovered that iOS 10.3 includes a new hidden feature: a floating one-handed keyboard for iPads. It remains to be seen if Apple will enable it when iOS 10.3 is released to the public.

Siri and CarPlay improvements

Siri in iOS 10.3 beta 1 can retrieve cricket scores from Indian Premier League and International Cricket Council. More importantly, the SiriKit framework can now be used to pay bills, check on the status of payments and schedule future rides. By the way, Apple states that the new SiriKit car commands are still in development.
An updated CarPlay in iOS 10.3 beta 1 provides handy shortcuts for launching recently used apps while CarPlay’s Maps app now highlights electric vehicle charging station locations, a feature Apple Maps for iPhone gained in December.

Update 2:
watchOS 3.2 includes Theatre mode, so we now have the details of how it will work:
Theater Mode lets users quickly mute the sound on their Apple Watch and avoid waking the screen on wrist raise. Users still receive notifications (including haptics) while in Theater Mode, which they can view by tapping the screen or pressing the Digital Crown.
In case of the iPhone and iPad, you will be able to access Theatre mode via a dedicated button in Control Centre.

 


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