iOS 9.3 release date: New beta launched as Apple expected to release new update later this month

The company is set to reveal its new, small iPhone and other products at an event on 21 March — and the company sometimes holds back dropping its software for its special events

Apple is set to release the next version of its iPhone and iPad operating system later this month.

The company has released the latest version of its beta for the software this week. And those releases are speeding up — it is only days since the previous version — which tends to indicate that the software is closer to completion.

The company is also widely rumoured to be planning a major event for 21 March, where it will show a new iPhone, an iPad and Apple Watch accessories. It may also hold back iOS 9.3 for that date, and use some of the time to announce the launch and detail the new features.

Despite the fact that the new release isn’t a major new version of iOS — those tend to come with the new iPhones in the Autumn — the company is heavily advertising the new version of the software. It features many more new features than the usual incremental updates, which tend just to have bug fixes or minor upgrades.

iOS 9.3 brings with it additions including Night Shift, which changes the colour of the screen as the night approaches to make it easier to sleep. It also includes improvements for the Health and Notes apps, as well as major changes to the way that iPads can be used in education.

The new beta brings minor fixes to the 9.3 software. That includes returning the ability to use the iPad Pro’s Apple Pencil to navigate around the tablet, which had been removed in the last version and caused an outcry.

Apple releases early versions of the software to developers and members of the public who are signed up to its beta programme. The full updates are pushed out to users through over the air updates using the Settings app.

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