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Apple has pushed-out a major new software update for iPhone owners
Apple has pushed-out iOS 10.3 to iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch owners worldwide this week.
The new iOS update includes a slew of user-facing features – as well one major behind-the-scenes change.
Head to Settings > General > Software Update to upgrade your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to get your hands on the latest version of iOS.
One of the biggest new features in iOS 10.3 is the addition of a Find My AirPods mode within the in the Find My iPhone app.
This allows users to track the location of their wireless earbuds by checking the last location where the AirPods were connected to an iOS device over Bluetooth.
The updated app also lets users play a sound from one or both of the misplaced AirPods.
iPhone users can now track their wireless headphones, AirPods, within iOS 10.3
Siri now supports paying and checking the status of a bill with payment apps, and can now be used to schedule ride booking apps.
Following the update to iOS 10.3, you can also ask the voice assistant to check the fuel level in your car, as well as turn on the headlights and activate the horn.
Cricket sports scores and statistics for Indian Premier League and International Cricket Council are also supported in Siri now.
Elsewhere, CarPlay has added shortcuts in the status bar for easy access to last used apps.
Apple Music's Now Playing screen in CarPlay also now gives drivers access to Up Next and the currently playing song’s album.
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Here are a number of other improvements and fixes bundled in iOS 10.3 –
- Rent once and watch your iTunes movies across your devices
- New Settings unified view for your Apple ID account information, settings and devices
- Hourly weather in Maps using 3D Touch on the displayed current temperature
- Support for searching “parked car” in Maps
- Calendar adds the ability to delete an unwanted invite and report it as junk
- Home app support to trigger scenes using accessories with switches and buttons
- Home app support for accessory battery level status
- Podcasts support for 3D Touch and Today widget to access recently updated shows
- Podcast shows or episodes are shareable to Messages with full playback support
- Fixes an issue that could prevent Maps from displaying your current location after resetting
- VoiceOver stability improvements for Phone, Safari and Mail
With the latest software update, Apple will move supported hardware over to its new Apple File System (APFS), which the Cupertino-based company first announced at its World Wide Developers Conference last year.
Previously, Apple was using its 31-year-old Hierarchical File System (HFS) for iOS devices.
Apple CEO Tim Cook on-stage at WWDC, where the company announced its Apple File System
This system was first designed for Apple Mac computers with floppy or spinning hard-drives – not mobile devices with solid state storage.
Even the successor to Hierarchical File System, dubbed HFS+, did not manage to address all the needs of modern mobile devices.
Apple's new APFS has been designed from the ground-up to support flash and solid state storage.
It has also been engineered with encryption as a primary feature – and will support features like snapshots, which promises to make restoring your Mac or iOS device easier than before.
According to technology blog The Verge, some beta testers trialling 10.3 before it was rolled out to everybody this week, noticed a bump in available storage space.
This is most likely due to the way that APFS calculates available data on your iOS device.
Other than a bump in storage for some iPhone users, you are unlikely to see any other benefits from the new file system powering your iPhone or iPad just yet.
Instead, the new system lays the foundation for Apple to move over to 64-bit apps only on iOS, something which many believe will happen with iOS 11 in September.
It could also improve the performance of the next iPhone, thanks to the faster read-write speeds enabled by the file system.
The next-generation smartphone, purportedly dubbed iPhone 8, will launch in the UK in September.
Apple also rolled-out an update to Apple Watch owners today.