Apple rolled out iOS 10.3 yesterday bringing with it a few incremental improvements like Find My AirPods, Weather Reports within Maps, Wi-Fi Calling for Verizon subscribers and other interface tweaks. But before you update, you might want to hold off and do one vital step first, as we'll explain later.
The new update also brings the 64-bit App Compatibility warning out of public beta, reminding everyone that older 32-bit apps will have to be updated to work with future versions of iOS. This is in preparation for the release of iOS 11 this year, which will move Apple's mobile operating system into a pure 64-bit environment.
Another major change in iOS 10.3 that's directly related to the transition to iOS 11 is the switch of the iOS file system of supported devices from the old Hierarchical File System (HFS+) to the new Apple File System (AFPS). If you can recall, AFPS was announced last year and it is designed to scale and work across all Apple products (iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Macs and Apple TV).
AFPS also takes advantage of flash and SSD storage with its low latency, which should improve reading and writing speeds on iOS gadgets. You may also notice a slight uptick in your available storage space once you update to iOS 10.3's AFPS.
Backup your iOS gadget first!
Since the update of the iOS file system from HFS+ to AFPS requires a conversion of your files to the new format, it is highly recommended that you perform a full backup of your gadget first before upgrading.
Although the conversion is automatic, if there are issues along the way and your upgrade fails, you can lose all your files due to the fact that HFS+ is not compatible with AFPS.
Although you can use iCloud to backup your files, space is limited. For larger backups, we advise that you backup your iPhone via iTunes if you have a computer available. Click here to learn how to backup your iPhone.
Due to this file conversion, the update process to iOS 10.3 may also take longer than usual. Aside from a full backup, it also recommended that you clean out unneeded files or move and secure your content (photos, videos, music) out to cloud storage or to your computer to make the process quicker. Obviously, the fewer files you have on your device, the faster the upgrade will be.
iOS 10.3 Change Log
Here Apple's full change log for iOS 10.3:
Find My iPhone
● View the current or last known location of your AirPods
● Play a sound on one or both AirPods to help you find them
● Support for paying and checking status of bills with payment apps
● Support for scheduling with ride booking apps
● Support for checking car fuel level, lock status, turning on lights and activating horn with automaker apps
● Cricket sports scores and statistics for Indian Premier League and International Cricket Council
● Shortcuts in the status bar for easy access to recently used apps
● Apple Music Now Playing screen gives access to Up Next and the currently playing song’s album
● Daily curated playlists and new music categories in Apple Music
Other improvements and fixes
● 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 Location & Privacy
● VoiceOver stability improvements for Phone, Safari and Mail
How to Update:
10.3 is considered a major update and is quite large (about 650MB) so make sure you have enough space.
iOS 10.3 is available for:
- iPhone 5 models and newer
- Fourth-generation iPads and newer
- Sixth-generation iPod Touches and newer
Here's how you update these iOS gadgets:
Go into your "Settings" app and select "General." From there, select "Software Update" and your device will begin to check for updates. Then select "Download and Install" to get iOS 10.3.
To get the update from iTunes, connect your device to a computer, open iTunes, and select your device from the menu in your iTunes Library. Select "Summary" and then click on "Check for Update." Finally, select "Download and Update" and wait for the update to sync to your device.