Update to iOS 10.3 for better security, more storage

iOS 10.3

Apple released iOS 10.3 this week, bringing several improvements and refinements to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners across the globe. Those running older versions of iOS may be wondering if now is a good time to update. Many of the changes to iOS are behind the scenes, with security taking center stage. iPhone owners should immediately update to iOS 10.3 to further optimize their devices.


iOS 10.3 contains tons of security fixes, including an important one that changes how Safari handles JavaScript windows. This prevents ransomware attacks that are designed to lock out iPhone web browsers. Instead of getting stuck in a constant loop of pop-up windows, Safari limits the problem to one browser tab.

Some users have reported the iOS 10.3 update takes more time than some previous updates, even up to 50 minutes to complete. This may be due to the fact that Apple has launched an entirely new filesystem, the Apple File System (APFS). Not only will APFS improve encryption and security, the move has other advantages for iPhone owners.

Storage space

APFS is optimized for flash storage, and reports indicate that installing iOS 10.3 can reclaim gigabytes of free space. The format has been called the "next generation File System" by Apple, and future apps will be able to save more storage space by taking advantage of its enhancements.

Other enhancements

There are several other additions, such as Find my AirPods and a centralized Apple ID management page in Settings. Weather information has been added to maps, and Siri can be used to make payments and catch a ride. CarPlay also receives enhancements.

Apple has already released a beta version of iOS 10.3.2 to developers, which means iOS 10 still has tweaks coming its way before iOS 11 appears in June at WWDC.

See the Apple support document, About the security content of iOS 10.3 for more details. Here are the official release notes for iOS 10.3:

Find My iPhone
- View the current or last known location of your AirPods
- Play a sound on one or both AirPods to help you find them

- Support for paying and checking status of bills with payment apps
- Support for scheduling with ride booking apps
- Support for checking car fuel level, lock status, turning on lights and activating horn with automaker apps
- Cricket sports scores and statistics for Indian Premier League and International Cricket Council

- Shortcuts in the status bar for easy access to last used apps
- Apple Music Now Playing screen gives access to Up Next and the currently playing song’s album
- Daily curated playlists and new music categories in Apple Music

Other improvements and fixes
- Rent once and watch your iTunes movies across your devices
- New Settings unified view for your Apple ID account information, settings and devices
- Hourly weather in Maps using 3D Touch on the displayed current temperature
- Support for searching “parked car" in Maps
- Calendar adds the ability to delete an unwanted invite and report it as junk
- Home app support to trigger scenes using accessories with switches and buttons
- Home app support for accessory battery level status
- Podcasts support for 3D Touch and Today widget to access recently updated shows
- Podcast shows or episodes are shareable to Messages with full playback support
- Fixes an issue that could prevent Maps from displaying your current location after resetting Location & Privacy
- VoiceOver stability improvements for Phone, Safari and Mail