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iOS 11.3 Brings New Features to Apple Device Owners

April 6, 2018

On March 28th, Apple launched their update to iOS 11.3, much to the rejoicing of iPhone owners. The latest update features several new tools, including those marketing directly toward the business world. Some of the features are meant to enhance business related features, increasing client awareness and convenience, while others seem to be designed simply for the enjoyment of the everyday user.

With all of the tech giants scrambling to keep up with one another, it comes as no surprise that some of the new features to grace Apple’s latest upgrade are similar to those offered by Google, Facebook and others. On the other hand, some of the features are reported to be novel, but to be included in other tech company products in the coming months. These are the newest features to grace Apple device owners:

Animoji: While not business related, animoji is an interesting and unique feature which will bring Apple up to speed with various social media outlets, such as SnapChat and Instagram, who have already begun making changes to emoji options. The animoji feature lets Apple device users create their own animal emojis mirroring facial expressions of the user. No more selecting from a group of premade expressions; rather, using your own expressions to show friends and colleagues how you feel during chat.

The new animoji feature uses your iphone’s camera and can be accessed through the messaging app and then by using the app store button within the messaging application. Once your new animal emoji is selected and animated, you can send it to anyone with an iPhone, Mac, or smartphone from another provider.

Battery Health: A new feature that benefits any iPhone user, Battery Health, allows you to see how your battery is faring and whether it needs to be replaced. It can be located through Settings, then Battery, then Battery Health. Unfortunately, this feature also tells users when it’s time to get a new phone, which can be a pricy change, but at least it allows users to remove any data stored in the hard drive and not the cloud.

Data Privacy: Apple’s new privacy tool doesn’t negate the privacy features already in place for their users, but rather, reinforces them with a new icon and customizable experience. The icon appears when personal data is being exchanged or requested; allowing users to fully understand what type of exchange they are making and how it could affect their private information. Apple is counting on this to set them apart from other mobile device companies and shine a positive light on their use of customer data, especially in the face of recent social media scandals such as the one currently associated with Facebook.

Further security access changes will be accessible in the future, including the allowance for users to download and delete data stored by Apple. These secondary changes are due to the mandates made by the latest European privacy laws but will carry over into North America and other countries as well.

Health Records: A new beta feature for iOS 11.3, Apple now lets users store health data safely and securely. This feature is particularly useful to hospitals and doctors as it allows patients to carry pertinent health information with them wherever they go. Whether they’re switching hospitals, family doctors, or making a trip to the emergency room, this information is accessible to the patient and under protection within the device they use.

Information stored within the Health Records application includes date immunization records, allergies that the medical community should be aware of when treating, medications the patient is currently prescribed and using, recent lab results from tests, and recent procedures they have undergone. Clinical vitals and current medical conditions are also stored on the app.

The app can be linked to individual hospitals, allowing patients the opportunity to learn more about the services offered within and gain access more easily when needed. Apple recommends the use of the Health Records application for the benefit of both patient and hospital.

Business Chat: Announced for the first-time last summer during a developer conference, Business Chat is a tool designed for United States companies, such as banks and businesses within the hospitality industry to gain access to a one of many third-party customer service providers. Those platforms partnered with Apple for the application include Salesforce, Zendesk, LivePerson, and more. The app can sync with other tools, such as the scheduling app, Time Picker, finance app, Apple Pay, and more.

To use Business Chat, businesses must first register through their apple device by selecting the chat icon on their business profile. Turning this feature on allows notifications and mail to roll in through any device including iPhone, iPad, Mac computer or even an Apple watch. This feature is comparative to a social media messenger application, but with a higher grade of privacy and a more professional appearance.

Since the announcement of the application, it’s been reported that other platforms, such as Microsoft, Facebook, and Google will follow suit. Apple hopes to hold an edge over competitors with their link to Apple Pay and other personal applications linked through the chat feature for business users.

For more information on updates to Apple products, you can visit their official website. Each new feature described in the latest software update is described in detail. What will this mean for the next update of Android? We’ll have to wait and find out.


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