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iOS 9.3 preview – Night Shift, new quick actions, CarPlay updates & more!

Apple has surprised many by previewing iOS 9.3 via beta release. The next minor iteration of the iPhone and iPad operating system, available now to developers and public users currently signed up to the beta programme, will be getting some key enhancements.

Included in the update is a new feature – Night Shift – which is designed to cut out the amount of blue light users see at night, shifting the device’s coloring to yellower tones. This is in response to studies that note the amount of blue light we see on device screens before bed is playing havoc with sleep quality.

Night Shift might help you get a better night's sleep

Night Shift might help you get a better night’s sleep

When iOS 9.3 is released, users will be able to turn it on or off by toggling a Blue Light Reduction button under Display & Brightness in the Settings app. There will also be scheduling options for when the reduction becomes active.

Elsewhere, Apple has included new Quick Actions on its most recent 6s devices. These actions relate to 3D Touch capability, and will mean users can hold down to get a list of actions on a handful of new apps including Weather, Stocks, iTunes, App Store, Settings, Compass, and Health. For example, users will be able to quickly access options like Wi-Fi, Wallpaper settings, and Battery options under Settings, or quickly redeem vouchers or update apps via App Store Quick Actions.

Quick Actions have been added to iTunes + other stock apps

Quick Actions have been added to iTunes + other stock apps

The Notes app also receives a new feature following its massive overhaul in iOS 9 – this time round, users will now be able to protect notes with a password, which can also be opened using Touch ID. Users can also organize notes by various new options like date edited, or title.

Protect your notes with passwords and Touch ID in iOS 9.3

Protect your notes with passwords and Touch ID in iOS 9.3

Other updates include enhancements to personalized options in the News app, while Apple’s CarPlay system receives some key updates that shows Apple’s continuing interest in the in-car system. The updates relate to a number of CarPlay apps that bring them further in line with iOS 9 style apps. This includes the Music app, which improves its music discovery capabilities, while Maps’ Nearby feature is now available on CarPlay. Live Photos can also now be duplicates, and alongside watchOS 2.2, users can now pair with more than one Apple Watch.

Alongside these updates there are a series of other minor tweaks and bug fixes. iOS 9.3 remains in beta and will become available to all users in the coming weeks.

Read more: How to use the new super-charged Notes app in iOS 9