What’s New in iOS 9.3 and Should You Upgrade?

Apple rolled out iOS 9.3 this week and while the update focuses on bug fixes, it also provides some cool new features that will be hard to resist.

Unlike previous minor revisions of Apple’s iOS, the iPhone maker has added more features in this latest update. The latest version, 9.3, introduces a wealth of functionality that people would expect in a major version. While the update still focuses on bug fixes and stability, the new update will be hard to resist. Let’s check out some of the new features.

New Features in iOS Version 9.3

The most touted new feature to iOS 9.3 is Night Shift. It reduces the amount of blue light exposure from your devices screen at night. I would describe Night Shift more as a health benefit focused on minimizing the adverse impact of your iPhone or iPad screen brightness when sleeping.

When enabled, Night Shift will modify the iPhone screen brightness to a warmer, yellowish hue that makes it easier on your eyes at night. The feature knows when to turn off the yellow hue then go back to the proper color temperature during the day. You can also configure the feature to kick in at a particular time.

For more on how to enable it, check out our article: How to Enable Night Shift On iOS 9.3 to Reduce Eye Strain.

Night Shift only works on iPhone 5s and later version devices. It’s also limited to certain iPad models including the Air, Air 2, Mini 2, 3, 4, iPad Pro and the iPod Touch 6th generation.


This type of ability is nothing new as Windows, Linux, and Mac users have been using the third-party utility called f.lux for years. F.lux does the same thing for PC or Mac and provides additional features. Make sure to learn more in our article how to set up and use f.lux.

Many built-in iOS apps now include support for Quick Actions, the 3D Touch function exclusive to iPhone 6s. Apps such as Settings, App Store, iTunes Store, Compass, and others offer new contextual functions when you press them on the Home screen. For example, Settings can now access Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Battery.


Other notable improvements added to iOS 9.3 include:

  • Redesigned Notes app with password protection.
  • Health app includes app suggestion.
  • Apple News now has 50 million active users. The app is more personalized with features such top news and trending topics.
  • Car Play support includes new features such as Nearby for finding gas stations and restaurants.
  • iOS includes better support for Education environment making it easier to share and manage iPads.

 Bug Fixes

In addition to the new features, iOS 9.3 also includes significant bug fixes.

  • Fixes an issue where manually changing the date May 1970 or earlier could prevent your iOS device from turning on after a restart. 
  • Fixes issues that could prevent some iCloud Backups from completing
  • Fixes an issue for some users where Health data was incomplete after restoring from an iCloud Backup. 
  • Fixes an issue where an inaccurate battery percentage could be displayed
  • Addresses an issue that prevented iMessage or FaceTime activation for some users
  • Addresses an issue that could prevent displaying the iPhone interface when receiving a phone call
  • Fixes an issue that enabled overriding restrictions applied to cellular data toggle
  • Fixes an issue that caused notification settings to appear in the Watch app for apps that were not installed on Apple Watch


Should you upgrade to iOS 9.3?

As with all major operating system upgrades, it doesn’t hurt to wait a bit, and see if any issues are reported. I have not encountered any problems with it since updating earlier today. I had to sign into my iCloud ID again to update some settings. The experience was almost like setting up a new iPhone, except, everything was where I left it. Overall, though, I recommend updating for the security updates alone.

What’s your take? Have you upgraded to the latest version of iOS on your device? Let us know what you think about it in the comments below.



  1. Anne Edwards

    March 22, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Thank you for this info. I am one of the many that have had no backup on my iPad and now it says NEVER. I have tried several tips from Internet and still no success won’t go to Apple Store as it is ages away and won’t wait for 5 hours to watch it BACK UP then stop in the last 10 minutes as it has been doing. Hope this new update will CURE it, unless you have a solution, if you do I will be very grateful.

    • Andre Da Costa

      March 24, 2016 at 9:42 pm

      Which model iPad do you have? Apple has disclosed the 9.3 update is crippling some older model iPads and iPhones.

  2. Chris Touhig

    March 27, 2016 at 9:20 am

    I am resisting this update because of the many reports that devices will not open after downloading.I spotted something about this on the Apple Twitter feed.not worth risking my I Pad I think.The previous software update caused me problems as well.

  3. Chris Peel

    March 27, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    I cannot update my iPad mini as I get a message saying I am not connected to the Internet. Seen posts elsewhere where others get the same message.

    • Chris Touhig

      March 27, 2016 at 12:41 pm

      I get this message every time I fire up the iPad and it only started after I downloaded the previous update.Ever since I did that I have had problems ,also, with pages freezing on me.If i hadn’t spotted the message on Twitter I would have downloaded the new update by now but I only have this iPad and if anything goes wrong i would no means of contacting Apple Support.

      • Andre Da Costa

        March 27, 2016 at 5:26 pm

        Did you try updating through iTunes?

        Install iTunes, connect your iPad then download the latest software update.

  4. Annette

    March 29, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    I’m trying to add it to my iPad now. Crossing fingers that everything is okay. Will post when done.

    • Steve Krause

      March 29, 2016 at 10:26 pm

      Get a good backup first! :)

  5. Annette White

    March 30, 2016 at 2:19 am

    Oops, I forgot to reply back. Everything went just fine. The only thing I miss that is on my iPhone is the night time sleep mode. Other than that it looks good, been on it all night since the upgrade and all is good.

    Thanks Steve

  6. Anne Edwards

    March 31, 2016 at 12:00 am

    I did download the new update and VOILA all good again. The backup worked like a charm. Fingers crossed Thanks for all the help

  7. kate

    October 14, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    After updating, does iPhone 6 have to have a fingerprint sensor? Or can you use a digit passcode?

    • Steve Krause

      October 15, 2016 at 12:15 am

      Hi Kate,

      You can still use a passcode. Using the Fingerprint Sensor (Touch ID) is not required on iOS 9.x or 10.x.



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