Apple prepares to ship iOS 11.3

Here comes iOS 11.3

Apple’s new Apple Watch straps failed to make the cut for the March 27 event

Here is why I believe Apple will ship iOS 11.3 in the next few days. Blink and you’d have missed it, but Apple today quietly launched its spring collection of Apple Watch bands with a discreet story on its Apple Newsroom site – and with its big March 27 spring event looming, I’m in no doubt at all the company will ship iOS 11.3 in the next few days.

Apple drops its straps

I’ve heard some claims the company sells two or more spare bands to every single watch owner, so there’s got to be strong interest in the release, all the same Apple chose to edit news of the new straps out of its final announcement, March 27.

Anyone who has been to more than a couple of Apple events will already recognize that the company puts weeks of work into choreographing its public announcements. There are always a few relatively minor announcements made in the week before an event, items that just don’t make the final presentation.

This is a typical pattern before an announcement.

Where is iOS 11.3?

This is what’s going to happen: Apple will hold its spring launch event on March 27 at a school in Chicago.

The company will announce a whole bunch of stuff, and spend time telling us how much it cares about empowering students with technologies they like to use that do the job they need to do and help young minds learn. It will also want to talk about the enhanced privacy features it’s about to introduce in iOS 11.3.

That’s not all. It may also introduce new hardware, useful to kids and also useful to everyone else. This may include:

  • iPads
  • MacBook Air
  • New AirPods
  • I’d like to see an iPhone SE2

To name the hottest rumours we’re hearing (on which, more here).

Every time Apple ships new hardware it also needs to ship new operating system software, and that’s why iOS 11.3 is about to drop.This will have a bunch of new features, and should (hopefully) have been kicked around enough to be super-stable.

Right now, it seems Apple plans to ship the new OS between March 22-27. Here’s some tips for upgrading iOS.

Apple’s Spring 2016 keynote

Keep the people talking

In my experience, Apple nearly always ships new software before the event, often (but not always) the Friday preceding an event, which gives everyone time to upgrade before any new software or hardware features are activated.

Doing so also gives the usual suspects ample time to dig into the code to find all the secrets (or not so secrets) Apple may have added since the previous beta.

That’s why news coverage before Apple events always gathers momentum as the Mac Web goes ga-ga for hitherto hidden hardware or software features.

And, field trip, or no, Apple’s been planning its spring launch for some time.

Jonny Evans

Watching Apple since 1999. I don't say what they should do. I say what they might do. They sometimes do.

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