Over the last 15 months Apple had been working on quick updates. After every new update some new bug comes to life and Apple have to kill it in the next update. But with Apple’s new iOS 9.3 release I want to applaud the company for making two commendable changes very quickly… These are the two important changes that we found in iOS 9.3.
Important Change #1
Earlier this month a serious yet ridiculous bug was discovered: Setting the date of an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to January 1st, 1970 would brick the device the next time it was restarted. Why would anyone do that? Because a hoax spread across the Internet that it would unlock a secret retro iOS theme.
The most recent beta of iOS 9.3 fixes the bug by limiting the system time—you now can’t set it back before December 31st, 2000, stopping any possibility of bricking the handset. Apple hasn’t officially said what caused the problem, but it’s likely linked to the Unix time system used in places in iOS, which struggles to handle dates before 1970.
Important Change #2
When Apple released the first beta of iOS 9.3, iPad Pro users quickly discovered that the update essentially crippled the Apple Pencil’s functionality with the device. Since its release, the Apple Pencil had been able to be used to navigate throughout iOS, in addition to the oft-touted drawing capabilities. The 9.3 beta, however, removed the accessory’s ability to be used to navigate iOS. Apple has confirmed to The Verge, though, that the capability will return in the next beta.
Since this loss of Apple Pencil functionality was not listed as a known bug in the iOS 9.3 beta release notes, concern rose and a plea on iMore to restore the lost functionality gained a lot of attention. Now 46 days into the testing of iOS 9.3 Apple has spoken out:
“We believe a finger will always be the primary way users navigate on an iPad, but we understand that some customers like to use Apple Pencil for this as well and we’ve been working on ways to better implement this while maintaining compatibility during this latest beta cycle. We will add this functionality back in the next beta of iOS 9.3.”
Either way, iPad Pro owners: you’ll be able to use the Pencil just like your finger in the next beta release and once iOS 9.3 is officially released to the public with new features like Night Shift, secured Notes, and more. Still, it’s worth remembering that these betas are also public for users who opt in, so it’s definitely a headache for the early iPad Pro adopters who unexpectedly lost some useful functionality. Soon you’ll be scrolling, swiping between home screens, and selecting text with the Pencil once again. Just the way it should be.