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What to expect in iOS 9.3, in developer beta now

Susie Ochs | Jan. 12, 2016
New features are on the way for night-time reading, plus additions to News and Health.

Health. Apple’s database for HealthKit info has never been much to look at—it’s more a clearinghouse for all the health-related data you’ll collect and interact with in third-party HealthKit-enabled apps, like RunKeeper, Withings Health Mate, and MyFitnessPal. In iOS 9.3, the Health app will help you discover new HealthKit apps to install, adding a side-scrolling list of relevant apps to the bottom of the category pages for Weight, Workouts, and Sleep. The Health app will also show the move, exercise, and stand data collected by your Apple Watch, which right now is mostly locked into the Activity app. That’ll make it easier to share, say, the stand data with other HealthKit apps.

ios93 health iphone6s 
Credit: Apple

CarPlay. If you connect your iPhone to a CarPlay stereo, you’ll get a couple new features in iOS 9.3. The Apple Music app will finally show the New and For You sections, instead of just your collection and playlists. And the Maps app will finally support the Nearby feature that was added in iOS 9, way back in September. Nearby helps you find businesses in your vicinity by category, like gas, parking, coffee shops, and restaurants.

Education benefits. iOS 9.3 has some features aimed at schools as well—Apple launched a separate Education Preview page to explain. Regular users probably won’t benefit directly from these features, but schools that deploy multiple iPads will get a new Apple School Manager portal to manage them, they’ll be able to create Managed Apple IDs and assign them to students, and a Shared iPad feature that will let those students log in to any iPad in the school and pick up where they left off the day before.

Teachers get a Classroom app that lets them peek at any student’s screen, launch specific apps and sites on every screen at once, and lock them in place so the kids can’t surreptiously surf over to Tumblr or wherever they hang out these days.

How to get it: If you can’t wait until iOS 9.3 is deployed to the masses, here’s how to join the public beta program (and how to go back to the shipping version if you want out). As of today, iOS 9.3 is only in developer beta, but it should hit public beta any day now.


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