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Immediately following Apple’s update of their tvOS operating system for the Apple TV, the company released iOS 9.3 beta 2 to developers. Technically the third beta version of iOS 9.3, this update comes just two weeks after the first 9.3 beta was released, and the subsequent iOS 9.3 Beta 1.1 that rectified installation issues.
While the official iOS 9.2 updates have been relatively unexciting, focusing mainly on performance, stability, and security enhancements, iOS 9.3 will look to introduce several new features.
The update will allow users to password protect notes in the Notes app with Touch ID and duplicate a Live Photo as a Still Photo in the Photos app, and will also introduce landscape support in the News App, new 3D Touch shortcuts from the home screen, new data in the Health app, enhanced Apple Music support with CarPlay, support for new languages in Siri, and more.
Also to be introduced in iOS 9.3 is “Night Shift” mode, which, according to Apple, “uses your iOS device’s clock and geolocation to determine when it’s sunset in your location. Then it automatically shifts the colors in your display to the warmer end of the spectrum, making it easier on your eyes.
In the morning, it returns the display to its regular settings.” Apple designed this feature after a vast amount of research has shown that “exposure to bright blue light in the evening can affect your circadian rhythms and make it harder to fall asleep.”
The full list of changes available in 9.3 beta 2 is not available just yet, as Apple has yet to update the developer website. However, the beta update now sees the addition of a Night Shift toggle to the Control Center, accessible via an icon of an eye with a crescent moon in the middle.
The Notes app is now protected by password or by Touch ID, and several new 3D Touch shortcuts are available. There are several more features set for introduction in the official iOS 9.3 that have yet to appear in any beta versions, so this update likely won’t be the last. Apple hasn’t yet confirmed a release date for the official iOS 9.3 update, but a late February or early March release looks likely.
iOS 9.3 beta 2 is available to developers via Apple’s Developer website, or to users enrolled in Apple’s Beta Software Program.