Gadget Update

APPLE is about to release a major new iPhone update – and we've got all the details.

There are brand new emoji, improvements to how your iPhone battery works and loads of new features. Read on for all the changes, plus info on the iOS 11.3 release date.

The new iOS 11.3 version of your iPhone software should arrive by the end of the month.

That's to coincide with the Apple 'Let's Take a Field Trip' event, where we're expecting to see a new iPad model.

New AR experiences: Apple is making a bigger effort with augmented reality for iOS 11.3.

Unlike virtual reality (which requires a headset to replace your surroundings with virtual images), AR uses your phone's camera to overlay computer images onto the real world around you.

With iOS 11.3, your iPhone camera will be able to recognise and place virtual objects onto vertical surfaces like walls and doors.

It'll also be able to better map irregularly shaped surfaces, like circular tables.

Improvements to Apple software also mean your phone will be able to recognise 2D objects (like signs or posters), which means it'll be easier to make apps that give you information about, say, a piece of art hanging on the wall in a museum.

Messages: Your iPhone's messages are also getting a boost, too.

For iPhone X owners, you'll be getting four new animated 'Animoji' emoji: a lion, a bear, a dragon and a skull.

Then there's Business Chat, which is a new way for users to chat directly with businesses through the normal Messages app.

It should make it easy to have a conversation with customer support.

But you'll also be able to schedule appointments and make Apple Pay purchases with it too.

Better still, you don't even have to share your contact info with the business for it to work – and you can stop chatting at any time.

Batteries and performance: With iOS 11.3, you'll be able to see your battery health, and receive recommendations about whether your battery needs to be serviced at an Apple Store.

To do this, just go to Settings > Battery on an iPhone 6 or later.

You can also now see if your iPhone's power management feature is activated.

This is the controversial feature that throttles performance on older iPhones to improve the health of their batteries.

With iOS 11.3, you'll be able to turn this off – you should see a performance boost, but it may damage the overall long-term health of your battery.

To turn it off, just go to Settings > Battery on any phone model between the iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Health Records in Health app: In the official Apple Health app, you'll be able to view various bits of your medical records.

This will only be available if you've got a participating medical institution on board.

Your Health Records data will be encrypted and protected with a passcode.

It will contain info about any allergies you have, immunisations you've received and even medical lab results.

Additional iOS 11.3 features include:

Apple Music will soon let you stream music videos without ads
Apple News will have a new Video section in For You, surfacing the most important videos of the day
Are you excited for the latest iPhone update? Let us know in the comments!