Apple is releasing a new version of its iOS operating system for its iPhone and iPads starting today. The company said today during an event at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California that it’ll include Night Shift, password-protected Notes, updates to Apple News and CarPlay, and lastly a new app specifically for the education space.
Company vice president Greg Joswiak took the stage to tout that iOS 9 had been installed on 80 percent of all active devices, also poking fun at the low adoption rate for Android.
One prominent feature in the iOS 9.3 update is the inclusion of Night Shift, which is a way to adjust the colors on the screen at nighttime to warmer colors, so it’s easier for you to fall asleep. A similar Night Mode feature was included recently in the Android N developer preview. Night Shift automatically shifts colors on your device using the clock and geolocation to know when to adjust the screen, designed to help you sleep better. (Night Shift only works on a limited set of devices: iPhone 5s or later, iPad Pro, iPad Air or later, iPad mini 2 or later, and iPod touch, Apple says on its website.)
Other updates include a password-protection setting for Notes, a suggestion feature within the App Store to help you find the right apps that will share data with HealthKit (Joswiak said that there are now 2,500 apps that currently provide data to Apple), and the addition of top stories, trending topics, and editor’s picks with Apple News.
Apple CarPlay is also getting enhancements, specifically with Apple Music and Apple Maps, to show you nearby attractions such as gas, parking, and food, with the tap of your finger.
Apple is also launching new education features with this iOS release, which collectively feel like Apple’s response to Google’s efforts to promote Chromebooks in the classroom. Using iPads in the classroom will become easier, according to a preview of a new suite of products designed for students, teachers, and administrators.
Now there’s a new Classroom app for iOS that will let students follow along with their teacher’s lesson. Any student in a classroom can log into an iPad and get to the apps and documents they need in iOS 9.3. Teachers can lock the apps on students’ iPads or see what students are doing at that moment with the new Screen View feature, and they can also project a specific iPad’s screen onto a TV that’s hooked up to an Apple TV box. With the new Apple School Manager service, admins can assign “Managed Apple IDs” to students and teachers and purchase content and apps for all of their devices.