iOS 8.3 released by Apple.  What’s new?

Apple released iOS 8.3 today.  As the name implies, it is the third major release to iOS 8.  This update was first provided to developers on February 9, 2015.  It was subsequently pre-released on March 12, 2015, to those testers who participate in the Apple Beta Software Program, a first for Apple’s mobile operating system.

iOS 8.3

iOS 8.3 is replete with a large number of performance improvements, fixes and new features.  Although the list of important changes is substantial in this release (see below), much of the attention the update is garnering relates to the inclusion of a redesigned Emoji keyboard accompanied by diverse Emoji.  Diverse Emoji are part of 300 new Emoji added in this release, with varied racially-diverse skin tones.  Certain Emoji allow you to tap-and-hold to view and select your preferred Emoji skin tone.

iOS 8.3

The Emoji selector has been updated to allow for sliding through the library of images rather than the previous tabbed interface.

Apple also included new languages for use with Siri, Apple’s virtual personal assistant, and for dictation.  Users can also use Siri to start telephone calls using speakerphone.

Additional fixes for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, orientation, rotation, messaging, Family Sharing, CarPlay, Enterprise, and accessibility are included.  The full release notes are provided below.

iOS 8.3 is available immediately for iOS devices when connected to iTunes, and over-the-air.

Full release notes:

iOS 8.3

This release includes improved performance, bug fixes, and a redesigned Emoji keyboard. Changes include:

Improved performance for:

App launch
App responsiveness
Messages
Wi-Fi
Control Center
Safari tabs
3rd-party keyboards
Keyboard shortcuts
Simplified Chinese keyboard

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth fixes

Fixes an issue where you could be continuously prompted for login credentials
Addresses an issue where some devices disconnect intermittently from Wi-Fi networks
Fixes an issue where hands-free phone calls could become disconnected
Fixes an issue where audio playback could stop working with some bluetooth speakers

Orientation and rotation fixes

Addresses an issue that sometimes prevented rotating back to portrait after having rotated to landscape
Improves performance and stability issues that occurred when rotating the device between portrait and landscape
Fixes an issue where device orientation appeared upside down after pulling the iPhone 6 Plus from your pocket
Resolves an issue that sometimes prevented apps from rotating to correct orientation after switching apps in multitasking

Messages fixes

Addresses issues that caused group messages to sometimes split
Fixes an issue that sometimes removed the ability to forward or delete individual messages
Resolves an issue that sometimes prevented a preview from appearing when taking a photo in Messages
Adds the ability to report junk messages directly from the Messages app
Adds the ability to filter out iMessages that are not sent by your contacts

Family Sharing fixes

Fixes a bug where certain apps would not launch or update on family members’ devices
Fixes a bug that prevented family members from downloading certain free apps
Increased reliability for Ask to Buy notifications

CarPlay fixes

Fixes an issue where Maps could come up as a black screen
Fixes an issue where the UI could be incorrectly rotated
Fixes an issue where the keyboard could appear on the CarPlay screen when it shouldn’t

Enterprise fixes

Improves reliability of installing and updating enterprise apps
Corrects the time zone of Calendar events created in IBM Notes
Fixes a problem that could cause web clip icons to become generic after restarting
Improves reliability of saving the password for a web proxy
Exchange out-of-office message can now be edited separately for external replies
Improves recovery of Exchange accounts from temporary connection problems
Improves compatibility of VPN and web proxy solutions
Allows use of physical keyboards to log into Safari web sheets, such as for joining a public Wi-Fi network
Fixes an issue that caused Exchange meetings with long notes to be truncated

Accessibility fixes

Fixes an issue where using the back button in Safari causes VoiceOver gestures to not respond
Fixes an issue where VoiceOver focus becomes unreliable in draft Mail messages
Fixes an issue where Braille Screen Input cannot be used to type text in forms on webpages
Fixes an issue where toggling Quick Nav on a Braille Display announces that Quick Nav is off
Fixes an issue keeping app icons from being moveable on home screen when VoiceOver is enabled
Fixes an issue in Speak Screen where speech will not start again after pausing

Other improvements and bug fixes

Introduces a redesigned Emoji keyboard with over 300 new characters
iCloud Photo Library has been optimized to work with the new Photos app on OS X 10.10.3 and is now out of beta
Improves the pronunciation of street names during turn-by-turn navigation in Maps
Includes support for Baum VarioUltra 20 and VarioUltra 40 braille displays
Improves the display of Spotlight results when Reduce Transparency is turned on
Adds Italic and Underline format options for iPhone 6 Plus landscape keyboard
Adds the ability to remove shipping and billing addresses used with Apple Pay
Additional language and country support for Siri: English (India, New Zealand), Danish (Denmark), Dutch (Netherlands), Portuguese (Brazil), Russian (Russia), Swedish (Sweden), Thai (Thailand), Turkish (Turkey)
Additional dictation languages: Arabic (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates) and Hebrew (Israel)
Improves stability for Phone, Mail, Bluetooth connectivity, Photos, Safari tabs, Settings, Weather and Genius Playlists in Music
Addresses an issue where Slide to Unlock could fail to work on certain devices
Addresses an issue that sometimes prevented swiping to answer a phone call on the Lock screen
Addresses an issue that prevented opening links in Safari PDFs
Fixes an issue where selecting Clear History and Website Data in Safari Settings did not clear all data
Fixes an issue that prevented autocorrecting “FYI”
Addresses an issue where contextual predictions did not appear in Quick Reply
Fixes an issue where Maps did not enter night mode from hybrid mode
Resolves an issue that prevented initiating FaceTime calls from a browser or 3rd-party app using FaceTime URLs
Fixes an issue that sometimes prevented photos from properly exporting to Digital Camera Image folders on Windows
Fixes an issue that sometimes prevented an iPad backup from completing with iTunes
Fixes an issue that could cause Podcast downloads to stall when switching from Wi-Fi to cellular networks
Fixes an issue where remaining time on timer would sometimes incorrectly display as 00:00 on Lock screen
Fixes an issue that sometimes prevented adjusting call volume
Fixes an issue that caused the status bar to sometimes appear when it shouldn’t

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

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