Apple’s iOS 9.3: Big Changes For Your iPhone?

Apple’s new iOS 9.3 is set to bring some major changes to the iPhone experience starting as early as today. Some of the changes were expected and were tested in the alpha and beta releases. However, others have been a little controversial, like Apple’s new NightShift.

Among the many small changes with iOS 9.3, Apple has rolled a few big ones. Namely, Apple has decided to finally make better use of the 3D Touch feature of the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, integrating the feature’s trademark “peek” and “pop” gestures into even more of the integrated apps and menus. Further, the Touch ID fingerprint scanner can be used to lock your Notes app to keep prying eyes out of the basic Apple-provided note-taking app.

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New to iOS 9.3, NightShift is a feature that will reduce the amount of blue light your iPhone emits as the sun goes down, helping users get to sleep after using their phones in bed. The feature was teased in the beta releases of iOS 9.3 and has raised no end of criticism from the tech community, as Apple made the controversial decision to pull an app from the App Store that offered the same functionality.

F.Lux, reports Wired, was a popular app in the Apple App Store that allowed users to tune the lighting settings of their iPhones and iPads, reducing the amount of blue light the screens emit in time with the internal system clocks. F.Lux was based on sleep science research, which has suggested that blue light – the kind emitted from most personal electronics – can prevent users from getting to sleep. But as the app surged in popularity, Apple launched their own internal version, called NightShift.

F.Lux was pulled from the App Store after NightShift was introduced to the beta versions of iOS 9.3. The company behind F.Lux was diplomatic in their response and pleaded in a blog post for Apple to allow their app back into the App Store. Even though it provides similar functionality to NightShift, it could be tuned to allow different functionality or at least be different enough to allow users to decide which app they want to use.

“Today we call on Apple to allow us to release f.lux on iOS, to open up access to the features announced this week and to support our goal of furthering research in sleep and chronobiology,” reads the blog post by F.Lux.

Among the other changes coming to your iPhone this week, iOS 9.3 includes a location-based recommendations for Apple’s CarPlay system and a few new educational features designed to streamline students’ workflows on iOS devices.

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Also mentioned during the Apple Event is CEO Tim Cook’s fight against the FBI. Taking the stage before announcing the changes to iOS 9.3 and the latest iPad and iPhone, Tim Cook addressed the crowd and spoke directly to the elephant in the room: the FBI.

“We built the iPhone for you, we know that it’s a deeply personal device, about a month ago we asked Americans across the country to join in a conversation. We need to decide as a nation how much power the government should have over our data, and over our privacy,” Tim Cook said during the Apple Event today.

Cook thanked Apple supporters for their “outpouring of support,” stating that he is personally humbled and “deeply grateful” for the encouragement from customers, iPhone users, those in the tech community who stand with Apple in solidarity. Apple’s fight with the FBI over the native encryption in iOS 9.2, and now iOS 9.3, has been covered previously by the Inquisitr.

[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]