iOS 8.3 is out with racially diverse emoji, new Siri languages, and more


A new day, a new iOS bug...
iOS 8.3 is here. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple released the third major update to iOS 8 today with the public launch of 8.3, which brings a host of new features to iPhones and iPads.

The iOS 8.3 update is available as an over-the-air update or via iTunes. Some of the new features include racially diverse emoji, two-factor authentication for Google, new Siri languages, and tons of bug fixes.

Here’s a run down of the biggest features you’ll find:

Diverse emoji


Almost all of the human emojis can be modified – including minor ones like surfer, swimmer, and runner – but Apple still hasn’t added the skin tone modifiers to the family emojis.

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.

New Siri languages

Siri speaks even more languages in iOS 8.3. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Siri speaks even more languages in iOS 8.3. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The full list of new languages for Siri includes Russian, Danish, Dutch, Thai, Turkish, Swedish and Portuguese. In addition to learning these, the virtual assistant also supports more English-speaking regions, such as New Zealand.