According to Apple, the update enables high-fidelity audio for rich sound, Adaptive EQ for adjusting sound in real time to the personal fit of the ear cushions, Active Noise Cancellation for blocking environmental noise, Transparency mode to hear the environment around you without taking your headphones off, and Apple's spatial audio with dynamic head tracking. Most of the AirPods Max's features, in other words.
But the latest version of Apple's iOS operating system has plenty more besides. iOS 14.3 also brings advanced photo editing, search improvements for the Apple TV app, support for Apple's Fitness+ service (which launched yesterday) and the usual bug fixes.
The advanced photo editing feature is called ProRAW. iPhones have been able to capture RAW images for a while now – these contain more data, and so are higher quality but with larger files sizes. But previously, they only did so at the expense of all the tweaks Apple applies when you snap – the so-called 'computational magic' that makes your photos look more presentable by reducing noise and suchlike. Not anymore. ProRAW lets you capture RAW images while still applying Apple's image processing pixie dust.
Of course, you'll still get a whacking great RAW image to do with what you wish. Edit it to within an inch of its life in Photoshop, print it out massive, stick it on a mug, whatever you like.
ProRAW is only available on the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, not the standard iPhone 12, because of their more advanced cameras.
iOS 14.3 brings a new Apple TV+ tab to the Apple TV app that should make it easier to find Apple's original programming. It should also make it clearer which content is available without an Apple TV+ subscription, and which you need to subscribe to watch.
It also brings Apple TV's search function more in line with other streaming apps. You can now browse by genre, and when you start typing a search term, recent searches and suggestions will appear. Top search results with relevant matches across movies, tv shows, cast, channels, and sports will also appear.
And there's more. The update adds support for Apple Fitness+, Apple's fitness service that launched yesterday. This lets you participate in video workouts with Apple's own trainers on your iPhone, iPad or Apple TV, with stats from your Apple Watch appearing on screen.
You can now record videos at 25fps, and older iPhones can take a photo with the front-facing camera at the same time as the rear (newer models could already do this). Siri can mimic all kinds of animal sounds, home screen shortcuts open much quicker (instead of being routed through the Shortcuts app), and the Apple Health app now has some pregnancy-tracking features.
Phew. Look out for the iOS 14.3 update rolling out now.
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