iOS 9.3 release date nears as Apple pushes out latest version of beta software to testers and developers

While the software is an update to iOS 9, it brings major features like Night Shift, which changes the colour of the phone’s screen to make it less painful to read at night

Apple could be about to launch the latest version of iOS, the software powering its iPhones and iPads.

The company has pushed out the most recent beta version of the software, meant for developers and testers to work out any problems before it gets its final release. And the company is gearing up for a major event next month when the new software could finally be pushed out.

iOS 9.3 was announced last month and offers a range of upgrades including Night Shift, which turns the screen a yellow shade to make it more easy to read at night. It also includes upgrades for Notes and other apps, and the company has been pushing the update with its own page on Apple’s website.

Users can get hold of test versions of the software now, by joining Apple's relatively new public beta programme. That scheme comes with a range of caveats, since the software is still in its early version and is not guaranteed not to cause problems for the devices it is installed on.

Apple is moving closer to the final release, with the new update marking the third beta. The company tends to release around four or five versions of each beta before the final update is put out.

All of the five most recent iOS updates have been through four beta versions before they were released, with three going through five or more. Apple tend to take around 6-8 weeks between launching the first beta version and releasing the finished update.

It might be that Apple will release the update at a rumoured event on 15 March, where it is expected to release the new iPhone 5se as well as updates to the Apple Watch and iPad lines. The company sometimes uses its major events to announce software releases, and has advertised iOS 9.3 heavily, meaning that it may wish to debut it at an event where it can show off its features.