Emilia Clarke... 'the mother of dragons'.
Emilia Clarke... 'the mother of dragons'.

Game of Thrones star puts Apple's new Animoji to test

APPLE has previewed the upcoming release of its new iPhone operating software, rolling out new augmented reality capabilities, new Animoji characters for the iPhone X and a battery update to appease disgruntled consumers.

The software update, iOS 11.3, is due out next month and is set to continue the tech giant's push into augmented reality technology with improvements to the iPhone's ARKit.

In addition to horizontal surfaces like tables and chairs, ARKit can now recognise and place virtual objects on vertical surfaces like walls and doors, Apple said. It can also more accurately map irregular-shaped surfaces.

For iPhone X owners, the update will include four new Animoji characters: a lion, bear, dragon and a skull.

Apple's new Animoji range has these three guys and a dragon.
Apple's new Animoji range has these three guys and a dragon.

Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke has already shared her favourite of the new Animoji on her Instagram - the dragon, of course.

It has already racked up more than 2.4 million views in just nine hours.


In iOS 11.3 Apple is also providing the ability for customers to access their health records and data in the Health App provided their doctor is from a "participating medical institution". The health records data is encrypted and protected with a passcode.

But the most notable change for many consumers is what the tech giant is doing to be more transparent about its role in the battery life of iPhones.

The software update will add new features to show battery health and recommend if a battery needs to be serviced. Users will be able to find the feature under Battery in the Settings menu if they own an iPhone 6 or later.

"In a developer release which happens next month we're going to give people the visibility of the health of their battery, so it's very very transparent. This has never been done before," Apple CEO Tim Cook said last week.

But most importantly, the update will give customers a choice over whether they want their iPhone deliberately slowed down when the battery is old - something Apple was recently revealed to be doing. Apple has referred to it as a "power management feature".

"Users can now see if the power management feature that dynamically manages maximum performance to prevent unexpected shutdowns, first introduced in iOS 10.2.1, is on and can choose to turn it off," the company said.

Apple was forced to come clean about the scheme after researchers exposed the company over the iOS code late last year. But according to the iPhone-maker, it was all done in the name of better user experience.

"This feature's only intent is to prevent unexpected shutdowns so that the iPhone can still be used," the company said. But some claimed Apple was secretly using the tactic as a self-serving way to push customers towards upgrading to a new handset.

Despite Apple's contrition, the company is still facing an investigation by French authorities, a series of questions from US lawmakers and a spate of consumer lawsuits alleging misconduct.

Mr Cook said he does not recommend turning off the throttling feature when the update rolls out.

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