Apple releases iOS 8.3 with dozens of fixes and improvements

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Apple last night released a huge update for iOS in the shape of iOS 8.3, which has dozens of fixes a number of new features and tweaks.

iOS 8.3 available for download

Emoji

One of the new features is a much better emoji picker that organises everything into categories that can be smoothly scrolled rather than the button-style navigation of before. There are lots of new ones such as the ability to pick people with different skin tones new flags and characters for the Mac, iPhone and Apple Watch.

Apple iOS 8.3 Emoji

Siri

Siri (Apple’s voice recognition and personal assistant software) now includes new accents and languages, and the ability to make calls using the speakerphone (which previously did not work). Thai is now one of the newly-supported Siri languages.

CarPlay

CarPlay now supports the ability to connect an iPhone to an in-car dash without a Lightning cable, as well as features such as movies showtimes and sports scores now available to users in Brazil, Denmark, India, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Sweden, Thailand, and Turkey.

Tweaked apps and performance

Some of the native apps have also been tweaked – Passbook now divides Apple Pay from Passes, and Messages can separate threads from those in your contacts and SMS, to unknown senders (as well as a button to automatically report spam for unknown contacts).

The spacebar in the iOS keyboard has also been stretched out, plus an App Store setting lets you turn off requiring the password for free downloads (this option is not shown if you have enabled TouchID).

Under the bonnet, the iOS 8.3 update includes improved performance for lots of things – such as Wi-Fi, Messages, Control Centre, Safari Tabs, keyboards, and launching and using apps.

The release notes from Apple describe dozens of bug fixes, including resolution of some persistent Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection and screen rotation issues.

iCloud Photo Library is now out of beta, and can be used to sync your photos between every Apple device, including any edits that you make on one device.

The update is now available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch via iTunes, or just as an update over-the-air as usual.

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