Thirteen days after the first developer beta, Apple has released iOS 11.3 beta 2 for registered developers to test on iPhone and iPad. We’ll dig in to the new version and detail changes below.

New in iOS 11.3

  • 4 new Animoji on iPhone X: Lion, Skull, Bear, and and Dragon
  • ARKit 1.5 with support for vertical surfaces like walls, irregular shaped surfaces like circular tables, support for auto-focus, and 50% higher resolution
  • Business Chat for iMessage in beta with Discover, Hilton, Lowe’s and Wells Fargo on board
  • Health Records in Health app automatically updated from select partners
  • More prominent music video features in Apple Music
  • HomeKit software authentication without chip certification
  • Advanced Mobile Location for sending your location to emergency services when calling from iPhone
  • Messages in iCloud
  • New privacy page during setup (photo incoming) and a new Privacy icon in Settings (gray becomes blue)
  • Splash screen for Messages in the Cloud, backup can be disabled in Settings
  • iBooks is now just Books
  • App Store lists version number and update size on Updates screen
  • App Store following text size
  • Hello, Feedback app…
  • Apple TV shows up in Home app with tvOS 11.3, doesn’t work as hub for automation and remote access without tvOS 11.3 on iOS 11.3, AirPlay 2 also working 
  • New ‘Confirm with Side Button’ prompt for purchases on iPhone X

See our hands-on video with beta 1 below:

New in Beta 2

  • No iOS 11.3 beta 2 for iPod touch yet, Apple says a future beta will add support (possibly related to battery management)
  • Battery management settings now visible on certain iPhones (H/T Chris!)
    • The new section is found under Settings → Battery → Battery Health (Beta)
    • iOS details maximum battery capacity and peak performance capability
    • iPhones affected by performance throttling due to aging batteries should be able to disable throttling at the risk of experiencing unexpected shutdowns
    • As discovered by 9to5Mac’s Rambo, this text appears on affected batteries: Your battery’s health is significantly degraded. An Apple Authorized Service Provider can replace the battery to restore full performance and capacity.
    • Apple links to its battery explainer article for more information
  • New splash screen for App Store
  • Podcasts app now plays episodes with one tap, hyperlinks episode pages (H/T Ryan!)
  • Messages in iCloud now includes a confirmation dialogue when deleting message threads
  • VoLTE support for Vodafone contract customers in the UK (H/T Tom!)

iPhone X and iTunes 12.7.3

Starting with iOS 11.3 beta 2, users performing tethered updates or restores on iPhone X with iTunes require iTunes 12.7.3. Certain features, including Face ID, may not work as expected when using older version of iTunes. (36546243)

Messages in iCloud

iOS 11.3 beta includes Messages in iCloud for testing and evaluation purposes. Messages will prompt users to turn on Messages in iCloud on first launch after upgrading to iOS 11.3 beta. Please note that Messages in iCloud is automatically enabled for users who have two-factor authentication and iCloud Backup enabled.


To improve security, for a locked iOS device to communicate with USB accessories you must either connect an accessory via lightning connector to the device while unlocked or enter your device passcode while connected, at least once a week.

If you use iAP USB accessories over the Lightning connector (including assistive devices and wired CarPlay) or connect to a Mac/PC, you may therefore need to periodically enter your passcode if you have a passcode set on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.

Notes and Known Issues


Known Issues

• iOS 11.3 beta 2 doesn’t support iPod touch (6th generation). Support will be added in a future beta release.

3rd Party Apps

Resolved Issues

• Skype no longer crashes on launch or after sign-in. (36501124)


New Features

  • The default video capture format for ARKit in iOS 11.3 is 1080p. The default in earlier versions is unchanged. For more information, see the supportedVideoFormatsproperty.
  • Added support for vertical planes toARWorldTrackingConfiguration.PlaneDetection.
  • Added rough shape estimation of planar surfaces to ARPlaneAnchor.
  • AddedARSession.setWorldOrigintochangetheoriginoftheworldcoordinate system.
  • Added the ability to detect the position of a known image in the environment. For more information, see the Recognizing Images in an AR Experience sample code.
  • Apps can now opt into an interactive process to recover world-tracking state after anARsession is interrupted. For more information, see thesessionShouldAttemptRelocalization delegate method.Resolved Issues• ContinuingfromabreakpointwhiledebugginganARSessionnolongerresultsinVIO breaking. Visual objects placed in the world/anchor are now visible. (31561202)


Known Issues

• ClientsofNSURLSessionStreamTaskthatuseanon-secureconnectionfailtoconnect when an error occurs during PAC file evaluation and the system is configured for either Web Proxy Auto Discovery (WPAD) or Proxy Automatic Configuration (PAC). A PAC evaluation failure can occur when the PAC file contains invalid JavaScript or the HTTP host serving the PAC file is unreachable. (33609198)

Workaround: Use startSecureConnection to establish a secure connection.Health

Known Issues

• In beta 1, Health Record accounts and data are not synced to Health in iCloud. This results in data from the device not syncing to other devices. (35431094)

Workaround: Remove and then add the iCloud account on the upgraded device to restore Health data.


New Issues

• The shared web credentials API always returns the error “Autofill disabled”. (36989569)


Resolved Issues

• Maps no longer crashes when tapping the “Destinations” UI while connected to CarPlay. (34862998)


Known Issues

• ThestartItempropertyofMPMusicPlayerMediaItemQueueDescriptorAPIis ignored resulting in the first song in a list being played for any request. (33567879)


Known Issues

• Some Messages threads may take longer to load than expected. (35394897)

Mobile Device Management

New Features

Added new configuration settings for device management. For details of the new settings, see the Configuration Profile Reference and the MDM Protocol Reference.

  • Delay the ability to see and install iOS updates for up to 90 days.
  • Disable USB Restricted Mode.
  • Enable and disable Bluetooth if the Bluetooth settings are not restricted.
  • Find information for an installed app including update availability, if it is assigned to the device or the user, and if the source of the app is the App Store, an Enterprise app, or a beta.
  • Arrange WebClips to the Home Screen Layout payload.
  • Prevent unmanaged apps from accessing contacts in managed accounts.
  • Skip the Proximity Setup screen on first reboot after using the EraseDevice command.
  • Skip the Privacy screen during setup.
  • Specify the version number of an iOS update when using the ScheduleOSUpdate command.
  • Require teacher permission for a student to leave an unmanaged class in Classroom.
  • Restrict the Remote app from connecting to specific Apple TV devices.
  • Reinstall deleted system apps with the InstallApplication command.
  • Allow MMS messages to bypass Always-On IKEv2 VPN.


New Issues

• Using Music with VoiceOver or Switch Control may not work as expected in beta 2. (36998727)


Resolved Issues

• WebAppssavedtothehomescreenandwebpagesinSafariViewControllercan now use the camera to capture images. (35542231)

Single Sign On

Resolved Issues

• Background tasks now correctly authenticate in an app that uses Kerberos for single sign- on. (36301557)


New Issues

• iOS screenshots using the Screenshotr app may result in the error “Could not communicate with the target”. (35777273)


Known Issues

• Siri control of AirPlay 2 isn’t enabled in iOS 11.3 beta 2 and earlier. (36551796)


Known Issues

• Facial landmarks identified by the Vision framework may flicker in temporal use cases such as video. (32406440)


Known Issues

  • Debugging a disabled Messages extension may cause Messages to crash. (33657938)Workaround: Before starting the debug session, enable the extension by tapping the More (…) button to show the list of apps, then tapping the Edit button, and then tapping the switch to turn on the extension.
  • After a simulated iOS device starts up, it’s not possible to pull down the Lock screen. (33274699)Workaround: Lock and unlock the simulated device and then reopen Home screen.

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About the Author


Zac covers Apple news, hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour podcast, and created