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iOS 9.3: five things you need to know

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iOS 9.3: five things you need to know

Apple's iOS 9.3 has been road tested by beta users for a while now, but it's finally available to download to the rest of us.

It has more features than most minor updates, from a mode that will help you sleep better to enhanced security. And it's free, free we tells ya.

Read on for all the info, and why you should upgrade, pronto.

1 It'll help you sleep better

iphone night shift

The harmful effect of using gadgets late at night has been in the news a lot lately. And now Apple's setting about fixing it.

The problem is the blue light from the screen impedes our body's production of melatonin, which is the hormone that helps us sleep.

iOS 9.3 features a mode called Night Shift which knows when the sun has gone down in your location and reduces the amount of blue light emitted by the screen.

The result? A better night's kip without having to stop reading on your phone last thing at night. Result.

2 More secure Notes

ios 9 notes password

Apple has extended its Touch ID security – which only unlocks a program when it reads your fingerprint – to cover its Notes app.

That means no one but you will be able to see what you've been making notes on.

In other words, you can keep passwords and banking details in the app safe in the knowledge no one else will be able to read them.

3 3D Touch for more apps

3d touch iphone 6s

3D Touch is also becoming more useful.

The feature debuted on the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, and reacts to how hard you press the screen – a soft touch lets you 'peek' at things like emails, while pressing harder lets you 'pop' into them if they're of interest.

It's now being extended to more core iOS apps.

Chief among these is Settings. Medium-press the Settings icon and you'll bring up a quick menu of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and battery settings without opening the app or jumping into Control Centre.

There are also 3D Touch-accessible menus for the App Store, Weather, Health and the compass.

4 More personalised Apple News

apple news ios 9

Apple's fine-tuning its News app too. The 'For You' section is now more personalised, with sections for interests, suggestions and trending topics.

Apple News does much the same job as Google News, collating all the stories that might be of interest to you.

It brings together content from a range of sources, including traditional media, magazines and websites.

5 It's out now

You should get a System Update alert to instal the new OS sometime in the next few hours. Of course, it'll come preinstalled on the new iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro too, should you be lucky enough buy either.

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