Apple has released the 3rd major update, iOS 8.3 to the 8th version of the operating system. The release was available to developers and public beta-testers in February and mid-March respectively. This update is packed with a whole lot of new features as well as design tweaks that will add a new life to your iOS device. The update is available for immediate over-the-air downloads and can be loaded directly to the device.
The iOS 8.3 update comes with a huge focus on the improvement of emoji, where new items have been added to the list. The emoji picker has also been updated along with the addition of ‘easy scrolling feature’ to the list. The update adds 300 new emoji that can be accessed on iPads and iPhones, including the racially varied emotions. Though, regular smiley faces haven’t been made racially diverse, while people’s cartoonish descriptions are. You need to long-press the standard yellow emoticon to get the list of new emoji on your device and you will have the choice of alternate colors.
For non-iPhone users, this update might be available until June. The organization known to develop emoji, Unicode, is planning for the launch of Unicode v8.0 during that time. This release will comprise of emoticons, differentiated on the basis of skin tone, along with many more new emoji.
Another major update available with the iOS 8.3 update is the replacement of Siri’s tone with a new voice. The digital assistant is reported to speak more clearly with this update, but still users would be able to differentiate its voice from that of a real person. The new Siri seems to be more lifelike as certain words are spoken with a more natural tone. The cadence of this digital assistance has been enhanced, wherein its voice pitch drops at clauses’ end, similar to the effect produced by a natural English speaker. The last major update to this voice was released with iOS 7, wherein the sound of actress Susan Bennet was replaced by 2 unnamed actors, including a male and a female.
One more tweak offered with the iOS 8.3 is the ability of setting the preference of asking for fingerprint or password authentication while downloading free apps from iTunes. Moreover, users can also set Siri to keep the speakerphone on, while starting calls as well as filter text messages, received from unknown senders, out of the main list.
Currently, the iOS 8.3 update can be downloaded for free for iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone.