Apple iOS 10.3 packs 20-plus new features & is available now

Apple File System arriving on your iPhone, iPad once you install iOS 10.3 software

Apple iOS 10.3 packs 20 new features & is available now
Apple screenshot

Apple has made iOS 10.3 publicly available and the software update for its iPhones and iPads is packed with a Find-My-AirPod feature as well as a slew of Siri, CarPlay and other additions.

You probably know the routine by now: Head over to the General icon on your device, then hit Software Update and you'll be given the option to grab iOS 10.3 (a bit over 611MB on my iPhone) either over the air or via iTunes on a Mac or Windows PC. Unless you want to wait it out a bit and make sure Apple hasn't mucked anything up.

ios 10.3 Bob Brown/NetworkWorld
ios 10.3 Bob Brown/NetworkWorld

Not to be overlooked in iOS 10.3, even though it works behind the scenes, is support for the Apple File System (APFS) that the company introduced last year at its Worldwide Developers Conference. APFS is designed to work better with flash storage and has improved encryption support.

The AirPod location feature, for the few of you who actually have the new Apple earbuds, lets you view the current or last known location of your AirPods and plays a loud sound in the the precious $160 gadgets to help you recover them.

MORE: Conan's take on Apple AirPods: Wireless. Expensive. Lost.

Siri has been upgraded with support for paying/checking status of bills with payment apps and for scheduling via ride-sharing apps. Not to be overlooked: Support for cricket match scores.

CarPlay improvements are mainly designed to push Apple Music, but also include shortcuts in the status bar for easy access to last-used apps.

Other improvements include:

*New Settings unified view for your Apple ID account information, settings and devices

*Hourly weather in Maps using 3D Touch on the displayed current temperature

*Support for searching “parked car" in Maps

*VoiceOver stability improvements for Phone, Safari and Mail

Next up for Apple: iOS 11 will likely be introduced at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose in June.

MORE: Apple's Mobility Partner Program comes out of hiding

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