Everything that’s new in iOS 8.3


Your iPhone is about to get some new features. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple’s release notes for the first iOS 8.3 beta don’t mention any new features, but we’ve combed through the just-released update to discover a number of goodies.

iOS 8.3 won’t overwhelm you with new features, but if you love CarPlay, emojis and Apple Pay, you’ll enjoy a couple surprises.

Here’s everything that’s new in iOS 8.3:

Wireless CarPlay


A new CarPlay section has been added to the Settings menu that makes it easier to set up CarPlay wirelessly. If you have a car that supports wireless CarPlay, you can now press and hold the voice-control button on your steering wheel to start the CarPlay setup process.

New Emoji layout


Consistent with the update just rolled out in OS X 10.10.3, Apple has put all emojis on a single scrollable page. All the emoji are still divided into sections, but you won’t have to jump around looking for the perfect pictogram to go with your text.

Google Two-Factor authorization


Support for Google’s two-factor login has been added for iOS users that prefer Gmail and Google Calendar.

Apple Pay for China

This is only big news if you live in mainland China, but iOS 8.3 finally adds support for Apple Pay on UnionPay, bringing Apple’s mobile wallet to the country with the most iPhone 6 owners in the world.

  • Wirehedd

    Well, my car doesn’t have carplay, So there’s no joy there.

    My kids drive me nuts with emoji based messages that would make heiroglyphics look simple so Hurray, Hurray?

    I already use the 2 factor authentification so that’s a good thing but no big.

    I don’t live in China. I live in Canada, right on the border with Michigan, yet I STILL can’t use ApplePay and have friends who live less than 3 miles away (~5 kilometers) who use it constantly. This I am am not impressed with.

    So, all in all, IOS 8.3 holds a future of emoji laden texts from my kids and… yeah, that’s about it.

    • pjs_boston

      It just goes to show that you should:

      1) Buy a new car with wireless CarPlay.
      2) Return your kids for a refund.
      3) Use Google two factor authentication when you get another iOS device.
      4) Move to the USA or mainland China.


      • Wirehedd

        1) retired single dad with 4 teens. Not a chance.
        2) see 1. single. I paid the refund to the ex kept the kids,.
        3) 4 teens. They all have Apple devices.
        4) retired LEO. Healthcare in the US is prohibitive and China is just not “for me”.

      • pjs_boston

        At least you were able to return the ex!

        I returned my first and have never regretted it.

        You know why divorce is so expensive? Because it’s worth it!

    • Oscar Alaniz

      I live in Mexico City.
      I don’t have car (and I don’t plan to have one, i go around walking) so no joy there, also.
      I couldn’t care less about emojis, I only use :-)
      I never use two-step verification. I just don’t think I have that many secrets to hide.
      I won’t get Pay in probably 10 years. I know how frustrating it is to live on the “wrong side” of the technological border.

      But, hey! The iPhone is nice!

  • Dil Ribeiro

    No ApplePay in Brazil .. :(

  • YAWN! Wake me up when they add mail rules and filters.

  • marcintosh

    Mis-read this, thought it said 8.1.3. Any timeframe for when we’ll see this update? Why’re they skipping 8.2?

    • Matt

      They’re not skipping 8.2. That has been in beta testing for months now. On beta 5 right now.

      • marcintosh

        So confusing. Sometimes I miss my RAZR.

  • David Dunshea

    If i returned my kids i would lose my wallet because they live in it.