Apple iOS 9.3 Update Brings Night Shift, Password Protected Notes, Health And CarPlay Updates

The big reveals from Apple yesterday included a smaller size iPhone with modern guts (iPhone SE) and a shrunken iPad Pro with a 9.7-inch display, down from the original's 12.9-inch panel. These devices don't really bring anything new to the table, though iOS 9.3 does, which is now available to download and install.

Unlike the underwhelming hardware announcements, iOS 9.3 is actually a rather interesting release, especially considering it's only an incremental update. Be that as it may, it brings some clever new features to the table, including Night Shift, which alters the color temperature of your iOS device's display to remove blue light. What's the point?

Night Shift

"Many studies have shown that exposure to bright blue light in the evening can affect your circadian rhythms and make it harder to fall asleep," Apple explains. "Night Shift uses your iOS device’s clock and geolocation to determine when it’s sunset in your location, then it automatically shifts the colors in your display to the warmer end of the spectrum. In the morning, it returns the display to its regular settings."

Does it actually work? We're just now getting our hands on iOS 9.3 so it's a bit too early to tell. Give us a couple of weeks to test to the feature and we'll have a better grasp on whether it's a useful feature or a gimmick.

Apple Notes

The incremental update also brings better protection for your Notes. Once you install iOS 9.3, you can protect your Notes with a password or fingerprint, which might encourage you to jot down more personal information such as financial details, medical information, website logins, and even gift ideas, to name a few examples. In addition, you can sort notes by date created, date modified, or alphabetically.

Moving beyond the smartphone or tablet, iOS 9.3 brings some new things to Apple's CarPlay technology. One of the new features is called "New and For You from Apple Music." What it does is suggest songs, artists, and albums that are handpicked by Apple's music experts, plus make suggestions based on your preferences.


Outside of music, a new Nearby feature in Maps helps you find places of interest, including gas stations, parking, restaurants, coffee shops, and more.

A growing focus of Apple (and others in the mobile world) is health. To that end, Apple updated its Health dashboard in iOS 9.3 to make it easier to track your health and and wellness. Apple also added a new slider menu to several categories, like Weight and Workouts, that reveals related apps you can add to your dashboard.

By themselves, none of these new feature are particularly game changing. But collectively, it looks like Apple's done a good job with iOS 9.3