iOS 10.3 is out with Find My AirPods, Apple File System and more

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iPhone 7
Grab iOS 10.3 while it's hot!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The first big iPhone and iPad update of 2017 has finally arrived.

Apple finally released iOS 10.3 to the public today after months of beta testing the new software. iOS 10.3 can be downloaded now as an over-the-air update, or installed via iTunes. iPhone and iPad owners can expect a rash of new features that not only make iPhone and iPad easier to use, but also more secure.

Here’s everything that’s new:

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Apple seeds new betas for iOS, watchOS and tvOS

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iOS 10.3 is full of new features.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Developers received a fresh new batch of updates from Apple today: the third beta builds for iOS 10.3, watchOS 3.2 and tvOS 10.2.

The new beta builds come two weeks after Apple’s last betas got made available to developers, bringing a host of bug fixes, performance improvements and even some new features and UI changes for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Apple TV.

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Apple pulls tool that helped identify stolen iOS devices

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The Activation Lock checker has mysteriously disappeared.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Apple has pulled its iCloud Activation Lock page which helped users find out if an iOS device was locked to an iCloud account.

The tool could be used to verify that a used iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch wasn’t stolen before you purchased it — but the website’s URL now leads to an error page.

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Apple seeds first iOS 10.3 beta with Find My AirPods feature

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AirPods in case
AirPods now work with Find my iPhone
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Finding your tiny AirPods charging case is about to get a lot easier, thanks to a new iOS 10 beta that adds a Find My AirPods feature to iPhones and iPads.

Apple seeded iOS 10.3 beta 1 to registered developers this morning, bringing new hope for lost AirPods, plus a host of other new features and bug fixes. Unfortunately, there’s still no sign of the long-rumored Dark Mode.

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Find My iPhone might soon work when your device is dead

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iPhone 7 back
Apple is making it harder to steal iPhones.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac.

Recovering your lost iPhone may get a lot easier soon, based on a patent Apple was recently awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The new patent describes a method for determining an iPhone’s location after shutdown that would make Find My iPhone work even if a thief turns your device off.

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Google can now locate your lost iOS devices

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Thanks, Google!
Photo: Google

So you forgot to activate Find My iPhone when setting up your new iOS device, and now you’ve lost it. Fear not, because thanks to Google, you have a backup service.

Simply type “I lost my phone” into Google Search and you’ll be able to locate all the devices connected to your account.

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Find My iPad leads police to gang of armed robbers

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iPad mini is the weak link in Apple's tablet business.
Gang will have plenty of time to think about their mistakes behind bars.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

From reuniting families separated by a California wildfire to tracking down kidnapping victims, there are plenty of high drama stories concerning Apple’s location-tracking Find My iPhone/iPad feature for iOS.

Well, you can add one more to the list — as police in Bangkok recently captured a violent armed gang responsible for a string of vicious robberies in the country’s northern region — all thanks to their ill-advised decision to steal an iPad mini with the feature enabled.

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