10 improvements in Apple’s latest iOS, OS X betas

Coming soon to your Apple devices...

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Credit: Apple

Apple is preparing its next round of incremental improvements to iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple TV and Apple Watch, in addition to those announced ealier this year, here’s what to expect:

Apple TV gains better voice control

We’ve all gotten used to using Siri to get things done with Apple TV, but the latest version of tvOS adds dictation to the mix. Why is this a good thing? It means you’ll be able to dictate text in search boxes rather than clicking laboriously to use the on-screen keyboard. (The beta also brings in Bluetooth keyboard support for Apple TV). I’m still waiting for Siri for the Mac.

Apple TV for images

The latest beta also introduces support for iCloud Photo Libraries and Live Photos on Apple TV. This means you should be able to explore all your images on the device, and get those high quality moments of Live Photo camera shake you’ve been capturing because most of us haven’t quite mastered accurate Live Photo capture just yet. Additional Apple TV features revealed previously include a new look for the App Switcher interface and MapKit support for developers.

Live Photos for Mac

However, Live Photos are certainly becoming a “thing” with the latest OS X update offering full support for them within iMessage.

Protected Notes for OS X

Apple’s significant improvements to its Notes app continue with the introduction of the capacity to “password protect individual entries behind a single secure password,” according to 9to5Mac.

iOS 9.3 general

The latest iOS upgrade promises bug fixes and incremental changes (I’m hoping we’ll see the company take steps to redress its poor Error 53 decision). Verizon customers will be able make calls over Wi-Fi using the WiFi Calling feature, rather than via their cellular operator and Apple News should deliver more accurately personalized content.

iOS 9.3 Health app

Apple has introduced an Apple Watch like Activity Viewer within iOS 9’s Health app. This is useful because it will help users make better sense of the information gathered by the app.

iOS 9.3 and touch

Apple’s earlier 9.3 beta introduced Night Shift and new 3D Touch shortcuts to various Apple apps, including fast access to Bluetooth, WiFi and Battery settings in the Settings app. The release also introduced support for Touch ID-secured Notes. iPhone 6S users will gain new Quick Actions for Weather, Settings, Compass, Health, App Store, and iTunes Store.


As previously reported, Apple Music support for CarPlay users is enhanced with introduction of a “new” and “for you” selection of recommended tracks. CarPlay also offers up information of surrounding places of interest with the new Near You feature within Maps.

Apple Watch: Maps

Apple is committed to making Apple Maps the best mapping service on any platform. In this release it has added new tools to Maps view, including a Yelp-powered nearby search item designed to help you find shops and other places of interest in your local area. Maps can also now launch to work and home addresses, as well as current location (the previous default).

Apple News: New countries

There are some claims Apple is preparing to introduce Apple News support in new countries, possibly including Sweden and Germany.

Apple has been testing successive betas of the new software updates since earlier this year. With multiple reports speculating at a March 15 special event at which Apple hopes to put momentum back into iPad sales, many now expect these updates will ship in conjunction with or slightly before the event.

If you can’t wait that long Apple does offer the Apple Beta Software Program, so you can try them eary for yourself, if accepted to the scheme.

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