Apple rolls out iOS 10.3 and watchOS 3.2 updates, plus Night Shift for Mac

28 Mar 2017

iOS update. Image: wutzkohphoto/Shutterstock

Under the hood, the new iOS 10.3 introduces the biggest file system upheaval on Apple devices in more than 31 years.

Apple has released iOS 10.3 and watchOS 3.2 updates, offering such capabilities as a new Apple File System for iOS devices.

On the face of it, the changes on the iOS front will seem subtle – but they are more significant than you think.

Yes, it includes ‘Find My AirPods’ – essential if you can’t find the diminutive little things – and improvements to CarPlay. But the biggest changes are under the hood.

APFS will secure the data on your devices

Apple is moving all of its iOS devices to the new Apple File System (APFS), which replaces the company’s 31-year-old Hierarchical File System (HFS), originally designed for floppy and hard disks.

However, it was not designed for solid state or flash storage.

APFS will solve this problem by allowing more efficient management of files on iOS, Mac, Watch and Apple TV products.

Starting with iOS, encryption is also built-in and boasts such features as snapshots to restore files on your device.

Ultimately, the idea is to ensure that the files on your iOS – and soon, Mac and Watch devices – are more secure than ever.

Apple revealed the plans to introduce APFS at WWDC 2016 and released a limited version on the macOS Sierra beta.

WatchOS this space

Apple also released an update for the Apple Watch: watchOS 3.2.

The update includes ‘Theater Mode’, which is designed to let owners mute the sound on their device and disable Raise to Wake, preventing the screen from lighting up with arm movement.

It also brings SiriKit to the Apple Watch, allowing users to ask Siri to send messages and payments, book taxis and make calls as well as search through photos.

Night Shift arrives on the Mac

Another cool new feature released last night is Night Shift for Mac devices.

Night Shift arrived on iOS 10 last year and adjusts the colour of the display on devices after sunset, from blue light to a kind of amber setting.

The idea is that the blue light in the evening can affect your circadian rhythms and make it harder to sleep.

The amber setting will be easier on your eyes and, in the morning, the settings return to regular day colours.

iOS update. Image: wutzkohphoto/Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years