Apple Releases iOS 11.3; Bringing New Features, Enhancements and Bug Fixes

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Apple has today released iOS 11.3 to the public. In addition to some new features and enhancements, this release also brings a number of improvements for blind and low vision users.

Accessibility Improvements in iOS 11.3

In iOS 11.3, Apple has made continued progress towards addressing the accessibility bugs in iOS 11. Based on our testing, we believe the following issues have been resolved in iOS 11.3:

  • VoiceOver once again consistently and correctly announces the number of items on Home Screen badges (such as with the Messages app).
  • Accessing the VoiceOver Actions menu on Lock Screen notifications is once again consistent and reliable.
  • In the list of recent calls in the Phone app, VoiceOver once again announces which phone (Mobile, Home, Work, etc.) the call was to/from.
  • When bluetooth is enabled, but no device connected, the bluetooth icon in the Status Bar no longer confusingly reports via VoiceOver feedback “Bluetooth Connected”. VoiceOver now says “bluetooth on.”
  • On the Now Playing screen of the native Music app, VoiceOver no longer finds and speaks elements which are not visually present on this screen.

At the time of posting, we are unaware of any new bugs or regressions for blind or low vision users in iOS 11.3. However, as we always stress, it is impossible for us to test all devices; configurations; and use cases—so there may be improvements or regressions that we did not identify during the beta cycle. With this in mind, please do let us know in the comments of any fixes; enhancements; or regressions that you find in your own testing of iOS 11.3.

General Changes in iOS 11.3

In keeping with the spring updates the last couple years, Apple gave us a preview in January of some of the new features that would be coming in iOS 11.3:

This spring, iOS 11.3 will deliver exciting new ways to experience augmented reality on iPhone and iPad, new Animoji on iPhone X and the ability to view health records in the Health app.

Perhaps the most notable new feature in iOS 11.3 is one that Apple chose not to mention in its preview, and that's the introduction of more detailed information about the health of your device's battery. This includes the ability to check if the power management feature” that limits the maximum power output to prevent unexpected shutdowns is enabled, and choose to turn it off if it has been automatically activated.

iOS 11.3 also introduces a new Business Chat tool that will allow users in the US to communicate with businesses via the native Messages app.

According to AppleInsider, Apple Business Chat “will enable individuals to communicate--via Messages--with customer service teams at verified companies for help with product orders, troubleshooting and scheduling appointments--all without demanding that they give up extensive reams of personal data and social links”:

Apps in iOS 11.3 can present chat icons that enable users to initiate a new Business Chat

Finding a company and starting a Business Chat is easy: users simply click on one of the new chat icons suggested by Safari or Spotlight search, associated with a location in Maps or appearing on the web.

Individuals can also point their iPhone camera at a special QR code in a store or attached to a product. iOS will recognize the QR code and offer to initiate a chat.

Assuming that there is a good take-up of this facility by businesses, we would agree with AppleInsider's opinion that Business Chat “offers attractive advantages over both emails and telephone conversations because its conversational threads don't require actively waiting on hold for a phone response and don't involve the length and weight of emails.”

The release notes for iOS 11.3 via MacRumors highlight the following changes:

Augmented Reality:

  • ARKit 1.5 allows developers to place virtual objects on vertical surfaces like walls and doors in addition to horizontal surfaces
  • Adds support for detecting and incorporating images like movie posters or artwork into AR experiences
  • Supports a higher resolution real-world camera view when using AR experiences

iPhone Battery Health (Beta):

  • Displays information on iPhone maximum battery capacity and peak performance capability
  • Indicates if the performance management feature that dynamically manages maximum performance to prevent unexpected shutdowns is on and includes the option to disable it
  • Recommends if a battery needs to be replaced

For more information on batteries and performance, visit this website: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208387

iPad charge management:

  • Maintains battery status when the iPad is plugged in for extended periods of time, such as when used in a kiosk or point-of-sale system, or stored in a charging cart.

Animoji:

  • Four new Animoji available on the iPhone X: lion, bear, dragon and skull.

Privacy:

  • When an Apple feature asks to use your personal information, an icon now appears with a link to access detailed information about how your data will be used and protected.

Business Chat (Beta) — US Only:

  • Communicate with companies to easily ask questions, schedule appointments, and make purchases inside the built-in Messages app on iPhone and iPad

Health Records (Beta) — US Only:

  • Access health records and view lab results, immunizations, and more in a consolidated timeline in the Health app

Apple Music:

  • Provides a new experience in video clips, including a Revised Video Clips section featuring exclusive video playlists.
  • Find friends with similar tastes through Apple Music's improved suggestions, which list the genres that the users and mutual friends follow.

News:

  • The main titles now always appear first in "For You."
  • Watch the best videos selected by News editors.

App Store:

  • Four options now allow you to sort the customer reviews on the product pages: the most useful, the most favorable, the most critical or the most recent.
  • The Updates tab now shows the version of the app and the size of the file.

Safari:

  • Promotes the protection of privacy by notifying usernames and passwords until they have been selected in a web form field.
  • Presents warnings in the smart search field when the user interacts with password entry forms or credit card data on unencrypted web pages.
  • Automatic filling of usernames and passwords is now available in apps' web views.
  • By default, articles shared via Mail from Safari are now formatted using Reader mode, if the drive is available.
  • In Favorites, folders now have icons for the bookmarks they contain.

Keyboards:

  • Adds two Shuangpin keyboard layouts.
  • Supports connected physical keyboards using Turkish F layout.
  • Improves Chinese and Japanese keyboards for better accessibility on devices with a 4.7-inch or 5.5-inch screen.
  • Allows you to return to the keyboard with a simple touch after the dictation.
  • Fixes a problem that could cause the capitalization of the first letter of some words by the automatic correction feature.
  • Fixes an issue on the iPad Pro that prevented the iPad Smart Keyboard from working after connecting to a captive Wi-Fi hotspot.
  • Fixes a problem that could cause undesirable activation of the digital layout on the Thai keyboard in landscape mode.

Accessibility:

  • The App Store now supports accessibility options "Bold Text" and "Large Font" for customizing the display.
  • Smart Reversal now supports images on the web and in Mail messages.
  • Enhances the RTT experience and supports RTT service for T-Mobile.
  • Improves app selection on the iPad for VoiceOver users and selection control.
  • Corrects a problem with the incorrect description of the Bluetooth status icon and the Bluetooth icon by VoiceOver.
  • Fixes a problem that may prevent the end of call button from appearing in the Phone app when using VoiceOver.
  • Fixes an issue preventing access to an app's built-in ranking with VoiceOver.
  • Fixes a problem that may cause distorted audio playback when using real-time listening.

Other Enhancements and Fixes:

  • Supports AML technology, which provides more accurate location data to emergency services during an emergency call (in countries where this technology is available).
  • Supports software authentication, which provides developers with a new way to create and activate HomeKit-compatible accessories.
  • Podcasts now plays episodes with a single tap, and you can tap Details to learn more about each one.
  • Improves search performance for users with long notes in Contacts.
  • Improves the performance of Handoff and the universal clipboard when both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  • Fixes a problem that may prevent incoming calls from activating the screen.
  • Fixes a problem that may prevent or prevent voicemail playback.
  • Fixes an issue that prevents opening a web link in Messages.
  • Fixes a problem that may prevent users from returning to Mail after previewing an attachment to a message.
  • Fixes a problem that could cause the deleted screen to reappear on the locked screen.
  • Fixes a problem that can cause the time and notifications to disappear on the locked screen.
  • Fixes an issue that prevents parents from using Face ID for approving purchase authorization requests.
  • Fixes a problem that could prevent updating of the current weather conditions in Weather.
  • Fixes a problem that could prevent the synchronization of contacts with a vehicle directory when connected via Bluetooth.
  • Fixes a problem that may prevent an audio app from playing content in a vehicle while it was in the background.

iOS 11.3 is available via Over-the-Air Update (Settings > General > Software Update) or via iTunes on a Mac or PC.

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47 Comments

#1 Getting

I am downloading it now. Hope things go well. Cross fingers.

#2 Initial impressions

I’ve just updated my iPhone SE and iPad Air 2 to 11.3. Initial thoughts…
1. The voiceover volume sound has changed. I believe this now matches the feedback heard on the Mac but I could be mistaken. If so, this would provide some nice continuity between Mac and iPad specifically, following the dock imitation in iOS 11.
2. The speed and performance improvements on these devices are very noticeable. it makes things feel a lot snappier, especially wen typing.
3. There now appears to be just 4 carrier signal strength bars, not 5. I’m in the UK so this could be a country specific thing, I suppose.

#3 Once on, always on!

This is of course in reference to the bluetooth icon fix: When at least using a magic Keyboard, bluetooth is still only on according to the icon, not connected as one would expect while typing THIS POST with the keyboard itself. The exception I found to this behavior is when using any wireless headset, for the icon is changed to say “headphones connected, and has been for quite a while now.

#4 Message Syncing

I was just curious, I heard that apparently 11.3 is suppose to finally bring Message syncing between devices. Meaning that if you delete a conversation from your iPhone, that it is suppose to be deleted on your Mac or Apple Watch. Has anyone tried this to see if it is the case? Would be curious to know. Thanks!

#6 I just updated my

I just updated my iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch to iOS 11.3 and it was a great update. I like the new volume sounds.

#7 Smart Invert

After doing a little initial testing, it appears the Smart Invert feature now works in Safari and Mail, and doesn't seem to break YouTube or Twitter's dark modes. Some graphical apps will still make images inverted though, like google Music. Still, I'm glad that Mail and Safari are starting to support this. It's the next best thing until Apple decides to give us a full system-wide dark mode.

#8 More fixes that I have found on 11.3

This is great and indeed I've noticed a fix for the five things mentioned in the post. I have downloaded an update on my iPhone X and have noticed an additional fixes and improvements, some are iPhone X specific. The notifications displays on the coversheet, or lock screen are no longer repetitively spoken. There now is a new volume up/down sound effect, graduating from the old long overdue sound, finally matching the macOS volume sounds. The VoiceOver finally correctly reports the cellular signal bars on older devices that doesn't have the split redesigned status bar, such as on the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus devices. Apple redesigned the cellular strength indicators to a 4 of 4 bar scale, which matches the iPhone X bar like style for all cellular devices. VO incorrectly spoke the number of bars until now for these devices. There were only 4 maximum bars but VO was reporting it as a 5. This is now fixed on 11.3, so expect to hear"4 of 4 bars" on all of your iPhones. The braille input when using with the braille displays seems more reliable, and an often annoying and hard to resolve disappearing keyboard issue seems to be fixed also. There were times where the software keyboard did not appear even though there are no hardware keyboard or braille display attached. The VO just seems more responsive at least on all my iDevices which is always welcome, but your mileage may vary.

#9 Why do they always have to mess with stuff?

Why do they always have to mess with stuff. I'm not a fan of the new volume sounds it sounds like some wierd plastic pick sound. I wish you were able to pick sound themes. Voiceover does sound a bit clearer which I didn't think was possible.

#10 Just want to make it seemless

Just want to make it seemless between iOS and MacOS. Personally, I think it was about time to ad the volume sounds found in Macos.

#11 Thank you very much AppleVIS

Thank you very much AppleVIS for another great update.

#12 Pfft

I still find it anoying. So much so that I'm down grading back to IOS 11.2.6. At least until I'm ready to deal with this.

#13 Not worth a downgrade.

Like everything else, change is enevitable. I wouldn't have downgraded, because eventually, the other commenter will have to either update, or buy a new device, then you're stuck. I am not much of a fan of the sounds, though I get why Apple did what they did. I also noticed the number being spoken of an incoming call, that isn't in contacts to be spoken I think at least three times. A minor hinderance I think. Also, the new messages it asks to confirm deletion before you delete one. personally, I liked the, old way. Nothing will ever make me downgrade an IOS because of new sounds, features, or other such things.

#14 That's Your Call

Well that's your call. Glad your happy with the update.

#15 Great update!

I love the new sounds for volume up and down... the old ones were too intrusive.

#16 Siri voice and more

An update to the new American Siri voice is a sign that the new system is out. I'm on my way to iOS 11.3!
A little something worthy of note for Mandarin Chinese speakers, iOS now, at last, can describe and reference characters while using the Characters rotor, an effect similar to the phonetic feedback of characters and words in the English environment. Also, some changes in the phonetic reference of words, and characters that previously didn't get any hints are now hinted in the system, making the typing experience in Chinese easier and more reliable.

#17 Update report

Just updated to the new version and had a go with it. The Siri female voice I'm using as a VoiceOver voice is more snappy and responds much faster. This is a 64-GB version of iPhone SE. Also, I find that the volume indication tone has changed, just for the record. Happy updating to you all!

#18 seems like a great update!

I havent updated my Iphone in a long while now.
I am probably running the initial ios 10.0 release? (not quite sure cant be bothered to check) and I didnt update as newer versions of ios came out as the one that I was on seemed better,even though it had a few quirks, the new bugs introduced or features didnt really make me want to upgrade.
However, this update does seem worth upgrading to,and I dont see any major bugs that would anoy me.

1 question,though. the volume sounds have changed,I do see that, but have any navigation sounds been changed? I dont fiddle about with my volume enough to be bothered by a change to those sounds lol, and to not upgrade just because of the volume sounds would be rather silly, or so I feel.
Falcon.

#19 ...

"• In the list of recent calls in the Phone app, VoiceOver once again announces which phone (Mobile, Home, Work, etc.) the call was to/from. "

not totally fixed, here is an example in my call log:

actual display on screen: harry (2), signal audio

voiceover announces: harry, incoming, 2 calls, framingham, ny

let's analize this. the regular screen must have some kind of indication so the user knows whether it's incoming or outgoing, vo interpretes as incoming, so that's good. the regular screen says it's signal audio call, vo doesn't say that, that's unacceptable. how am i supposed to know if i return the call by tapping on it, what kind of call i'm making?
then, when you have someone in your contacts, the place should not be displayed, and that's the regular screen does. vo omits the all important calling source (signal audio) and gives the unnecessary place (framingham, ny) instead.

this seems to be a simple parsing issue, and it took apple one year to fix? come on, do they have brain drain or what?

#20 App badges!

I'm really happy that the app badges with VO issue is finally resolved. Having to actually launch messages to determine if and how many new messages I had was quite annoying! Now, if the Bluetooth indicator worked properly, life would be good. In 11.2.6, it was always connected. Now, in 11.3, it is always on, regardless if a device is actually connected or not. Visually, it does indicate if a device is connected, would be really nice if VO properly reflected this info.
Have a great day.
Jim

#21 re: seems like a great update!

There are no changes to any of the other navigational sounds. The only real changes that you will see is that the female Siri voice sounds a lot clearer, and like was mentioned, the volume sounds were changed. If the volume sounds are all that are stopping anyone from updating their device, I agree with you, they really need to reorganize their priorities or something.

#22 iOS 11.3

Got it and no issues. People will do whatever they want, download or not download that is the question. Whatever works is my philosophy.

#23 Braille Support

I just updated my phone this morning. The update was successful with the exception that VoiceOVer speech sounded distorted until I rebooted my phone. I had hoped that there would be some improvement for Braille support but was really disappointed. Writing with a Focus Five Braille display is still sometimes sluggish and inaccurate. VoiceOver seems to still have problems registering words like Braille and know. Output is still sometimes being displayed in Grade two Braille even when output is set to 8-dot Braille. I haven't tested reading a book with the Kindle or iBooks apps. So far no suggestion anyone has offered has resolved the issue of text being skipped. This is even an issue using an actual Kindle Fire with the VoiceView screenreader. My e-mails to Apple and Amazon have fallen on deaf ears. Both companies thanked me for reporting the problems and said they would report them to their software engineers. so now I have a book collection I can't enjoy. I plan to test the VoiceOver update with the Hims Braille Sense and Braille Edge, and the Orbit Reader. I will be interested if I get different results.

#24 apple doesn't seem to

apple doesn't seem to bothered about the braille side of things, braille screen input has had two big bugs for years, and each time I report them to apple they say they can't reproduce them, even though in the case of periods being turned into number 4's when used in web and email addresses other people on applevis have also reported this issue, and I can reproduce it on other people's phones. the other issue they don't seem bothered about is quite often the dot 4 goes walkies on screen and its position changes and its very difficult to get it back where it should be. I even offered to demonstrate the bugs to apple when I was in the US as I think I was near there HQ at the time, and they thanked me for my offer but declined, I mean how short sighted can you get? if someone offers to show them a bug and they turn it down they are obviously not really interested in fixing them.

#25 Haven’t had those issues

Club AppleVis Member

I use Braille Screen Input pretty regularly, and I never encountered either of the two issues you described. That isn’t to say BSI is flawless, because it definitely isn’t, but I haven’t had those particular problems. Periods in web addresses always come out as periods for me, whether in contracted or six-dot mode, and I have had no issues with dot 4 changing its position on me. Perhaps you need to redo the dot calibration on your device?

#26 iPad case fix

Club AppleVis Member

It used to be, before iOS 11, that when I opened the iPad case to bring up the lock screen, VoiceOver would automatically announce the time and number of notifications, similar to pressing the power button on the device. With iOS 11.0, that feature went away, and VoiceOver remained silent after opening the cover, even though the iPad screen lit up.

With iOS 11.3, the old behavior has finally returned, so opening the case now announces the time and notifications the way it used to. I have forgotten how much I missed that feature.

#27 Hi, I tried redoing the dots

Hi, I tried redoing the dots and no joy it still wonders off every so often,
regarding periods coming out as number 4 for me, what happens is say I start to write a web address, I can put in the first bit of the address, so for example if I wanted to go to google I would put in the www dot google bit, but then as soon as I go to put the end of the address on for example dot com as soon as I do that second dot it comes out as a number four, and then any future dots I write would also be output as number four, so I would get a mess of www.google4co4uk the only work around I found was to do a space before my second period then delete it and carry on writing the address. as I say others have reported this issue over the years on applevis and I can reproduce it on other people's phones so its not corrupt settings or anything on my end I guess. this issue happens with both UEB and UK braille, and changing contracted or uncontracted makes no difference.

#28 Hmm, interesting. Maybe try

Hmm, interesting. Maybe try switching to US braille or whatever you can do? I honestly have never seen this issue crop up in my experiences with braille screen input under iOS for the past couple years or so. Wish I Could help more alex.

#29 You may need contact freedom

Club AppleVis Member

You may need contact freedom scientific for a firmware update for the braille display

#30 hi!

Hi!
Has anyone on here tried using Braigo with 11.3 yet?
I really hope it isn't broken still. I miss that app.

#31 Last I knew braigo was

Last I knew braigo was working again. In fact, they just released an update a few days ago in the appstore.
Ever since 11.0 my app switcher has had focus issues, like for example vo will say I'm on an app, I close it and it's not the app that I wanted to close. Anyone else experiencing this?

#32 Can anyone with an iPad Air please let me know

If this particular bug has been fixed.
After updating to iOS 11 .2, I noticed after locking my iPad Air, that the screen would go dark as usual.
But if I then lift, move, or shake the device, the screen unlocks itself.
I later learned that this was a feature called raise to wake, and that was only supposed to be available for iPhones, and since this is the case, there is no way of disabling it in the iPad settings.
Has this now been fixed?

#33 Hi,

Hi,
Do you also have that during a call through the telephone loudspeaker every now and then the sound switches into hands-free mode?
This happens only when I have VoiceOver enabled.
I've checked on several iPhone and the error is repetitive.
Appealing to Apple, unfortunately, does not give anything.

#34 BSI issue confirmed

I can confirm one of the issues Alex Wallace mentions with Braille Screen Input. Periods, or full stops, are turned into the number 4 when typing web or email addresses, and the @ symbol is sometimes converted intn the % symbol. If truth be told I've never reported this behaviour to Apple as I found it simple enough insert and then delate a space before the symbol as Alex describes above. I'm not having any dot 4 issues. From time to time (not very often at all) the ts on the keyboard don't appear where I think they should be, but that just means it's time to recalibrate the dots. As I've said elsewhere on this site, More a big Braille Screen Input fan and although the issue Alex describes has been there since Braille Screen Input was introduced, it really is the only issue I've experienced.

#35 Thanks Troy

Thank you Troy!!
I didn'j even know about the update until I checked my email this morning!
I got it, and did a clean install of the app, and it works! YAY!!!!!!

#36 iOS 11.3 Apple Music Now Reports My Name After Each Playlist

Anyone else seeing this annoying issue. I don't need to know this information. I check the music settings and there is nothing there to toggle this setting. Any suggestions welcomed.

#37 thanks for confirming the

thanks for confirming the issue bingo, I am going to go back to apple and report the issue again, maybe they might be up for doing a screen share with me to see the bug in action, I won't let them fob me off with resetting my settings etc or claim they can't reproduce it, I would love it if those experiencing the bug could also report it seeing as apple is obstinate that there is no problem.

#38 Shaking to undo using dictation is a little better.

With IOS 10 using dictation with the message app. If I needed tocorrect the dictation I would shake and then press undo andwhatever I last dictated would be selected and the curser would be at the end.So I would just press delete and of cours delete the text. With Ios 11 that changed. The keyboard would no longer automatically come up so I had to press a keyboard button. When I did that the text would be not selected.So it didn't work.With 11.3 it's better. After a dictation and a shake and undo the keyboard still doesn't come up but I am able to click on the latest message and text is selected with the curser at the end.However, you can only do it once per message for example, When I dictate I usually dictate 1 or 2 sentences at a time. I can't dictate a message,then stop, delete a 2nd time and shake and undo the text won't be selected. Sorry if that was confusing and rrambling lol.

#39 Re: Apple music playlists speaking your name

Yes, I just tried this and VoiceOver does speak my name after the name of some of my playlists. I'm fairly certain my name isn't on screen, so I believe this is a voiceover glitch. Glad it speaks the name after the playlist and not before or this would be a much more annoying problem.

#40 Confirmation of names displayed with playlist

I had somebody check, and your name is actually displayed on screen below the name of any custom playlists (in the same area where it says “Apple Music Alternative”, “Apple Music Pop”, etc below any of Apple's curated playlists).

I don't know if this has previously been displayed but not spoken by VoiceOver; or whether the Music app has only just started to display this. Either way, it's not a bug - it's either a bug fix or a change in behavior.

#41 seems good

Hello. I have noticed the audio on my iPhone 8 plus is much clearer on 11.3. Also typing is much faster on this one. IOS is not my daily driver but I still use IOS a good amount. I'll have to put my sim in and see how the signal strength thing works. Also the badge thing seems to be working good. That was very annoying. LOL

#42 New iPhone Updated Automatically, New Gesture or Changed?

I can't be certain of this yet, but a sighted neighbor was just over here and we were doing stuff with my new recently-acquired iPhone. He noticed that the gesture for ending calls is now some sort of slider rather than a button. Can anybody confirm this? Other than that, I can't say much as this is my first iOS device and I've only had it for a few days. I'll post elsewhere about my impressions of the iPhone thus far.

#43 Great update

HI all,
I’ve updated my iPhone and iPod Touch and I’m really pleased with the update. First issue I’ve been waiting for years concerns Braille Screen Input. Some problems concerning Polish Braille have been fixed and now I can type a ? *, “, etc. Also, the @ symbol has been changed which is more common then dot 4 that used to be used for this sign.
I really like new volume sounds that are less annoying and my call to Apple is to enable turning on/off volume sounds in VO settings. It seems that general performance is better than before but time will tell if I’m right. Cheers!

#44 Hello,What you should do is

Hello,What you should do is to use dots 4-6 instead of dots 2-5-6 when typing web adresses.

#45 End a call

I have no idea if the button has changed, but I think this i is a wrong text either on the screen or from Voiceover. However this is not that important since you can use a 2 finger tap twice known as the magic tap to take and end calls. Appple has unfortunately broken the other really easy way to end a call with the lock/turn off button. It worked in some of the 11 betas but was then suddenly not working in the released versions.

#46 Speech output when using a hardware braille display in the mail

HI,

I have set typing feedback for my braille display to words and characters, however in mail and only in mail nothing is spoken when I type.

#47 emoji keyboard

Hi all. I updated a few days ago, and everything was fine. But, yesterday, when I selected the emoji keyboard, it said: next keyboard oinpeemoji. I can select emoji just fine, and my region is set to U.S. and Lang. is set to English. I reset the device, and it hasn't fixed it. Did they change the name of the emoji keyboard and I just not realize it? Because, weather fried our router so I haven't had the unit on for a few days. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.