iOS 9.3 Available To Download Now, Apple Updates Health Frameworks

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Apple adds night mode, education features to iOS 9.3, while ResearchKit is updated and a new treatment framework is released for developers

iOS 9.3 is now available to download for compatible iPhone and iPad devices, while Apple has updated ResearchKit and released a new framework for applications that help patients deal with ongoing treatment using their smartphone.

The headline feature of iOS 9.3 is ‘Night Shift’, which reduces exposure to blue light, which can affect sleep, by using an iPhone’s GPS and clock to determine when sunset is in a particular location. At this time, the iPhone’s colours change to the ‘warmer’ end of the spectrum and then revert to normal in the morning.

Other improvements for consumers include Touch ID and PIN-protected notes, more relevant stories in Apple News and a new ‘nearby’ feature in CarPlay, which serves up restaurant, petrol stations and other services close to a driver’s location.

Apple iOS 9.3

iphoneOne of Apple’s main priorities at the minute is getting the iPad into more business and public sector environments as it seeks to offset slowing growth in the consumer tablet market. The company has released a 12.9 inch iPad Pro and has just announced a 9.7 inch version.

Schools are part of that strategy and it is hoped iOS 9.3 will make the iPad more attractive to educators.

A new administration console helps schools create Apple IDs for teachers and students, create course materials and prepare iPads for mobile device management (MDM).

Students can log into any iPad with an Apple ID, a feature not yet available to consumers, where they can access the same information and pick up where they left off. Teachers will also have a new ‘Classroom’ app that lets them see what pupils are doing, share work on the big screen and lock certain apps.

“It’s going to make the best mobile experience even better,” boasted Craig Federigi, senior vice president of software engineering at Apple.

Apple is also making improvements to its open source ResearchKit framework, which allows doctors and medical researchers to gather data more frequently from participants anywhere in the world, improving the accuracy of research and expanding the sample size. A new module allows participants to submit their genetic data, allowing researchers to expand their projects.

“Overnight some of the research products we did became some of the largest in history,” said Jeff Williams, chief operating officer at Apple. “Our goal was to improve medical research and we thought our work was already done. But we found we could help patients with their medical care.

CareKit is a new framework that will allow developers to create applications designed to help people manage ongoing health conditions, keeping track of treatment and symptoms.

The first applications is for Parkinson’s and has the support of six US medial institutions

“We think the possibilities are endless”

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