iOS 9.3 Update Available to Download [IPSW Direct Links]

Mar 21, 2016 - 21 Comments

iOS 9.3 update

Apple has released the final version of iOS 9.3 today for all compatible iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices.

iOS 9.3 includes several new features, including password protected Notes app, a night time color adjustment mode called Night Shift, multi-user support for iPad in education environments, and a variety of other minor changes.

Multiple bug fixes and security improvements are also included, making iOS 9.3 a recommended update to users running a prior version of iOS 9.

How to Update to iOS 9.3

The best way to update to iOS 9.3 on any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is through the over the air update mechanism on the device, as so:

  1. Back up the device to iTunes or iCloud and let the backup complete
  2. Open the Settings app and go to “General” followed by “Software Update”
  3. Choose “Download & Install” when IOS 9.3 becomes visible in the Software Update section

iOS 9.2 software update available to download and install now

The iPhone, IPad, or iPod touch will automatically reboot and complete installation.

Users can also choose to update devices to iOS 9.3 by using iTunes on a computer, which requires a USB cable. In the summary section of iTunes, simply choosing the “Update” button will start the process.

iOS 9.3 IPSW Direct Download Links

An advanced option for updating iOS 9.3 is to use IPSW firmware files, which requires iTunes and a USB cable. The IPSW files are hosted by Apple on their servers, right-click and choose “Save As” for best results.

Be sure you download the proper IPSW file for the device in question, you can identify the iPhone product type information in iTunes in the summary section for the device:

Find iPhone product type ID number

The saved IPSW file must have a .ipsw extension to work properly with iTunes for updating device firmware, it is not a zip file or any other file format.

iOS 9.3 Release Notes

With this update your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch gain improvements to Notes, News, Health, Apple Music and a new feature called Night Shift that may even help you get a better night’s sleep by shifting the colors in your display to the warmer end of the spectrum at night. New features, improvements, and bug fixes include:

Night Shift

■ When enabled, Night Shift uses your iOS device’s clock and geolocation to determine when it’s sunset in your location, then it automatically shifts the colors in your display to the warmer end of the spectrum and may even help you get a better night’s sleep.

Notes improvements

■ Protect notes that contain your most personal data with Touch ID or a passcode

■ Sort notes alphabetically, by date created, or by date edited

■ When sketching, quickly bring up a fresh canvas with a two finger swipe, or by tapping the New Sketch button

■ A new checklist button at the bottom of every note makes it easier to create lists

■ Show thumbnails instead of large images and attachments by long-pressing on any image or attachment in a note

■ Choose whether photos and videos taken within Notes are stored only in Notes, or also added to Photos

■ Long-press on an Evernote Export file to import its contents into Notes

News improvements

■ New Top Stories section in For You highlights the most important stories of the day

■ Discover something great to read in Editors’ Picks, a selection of channels and topics handpicked by our Apple News editors

■ Swipe left on stories in For You on iPhone to quickly share or save or swipe right for more options

■ Play video stories right from For You — without opening the article

■ Read stories and watch videos in landscape orientation on iPhone

■ Change the text size in articles to make reading easier

Health improvements

■ Related third-party apps for select data types such as weight, workouts and sleep are displayed in the Health app

■ Health dashboard adds support for move, exercise, and stand Activity data and goals from Apple Watch

■ Easy access to Dashboard and Medical ID using 3D Touch Quick Actions from the Home screen

■ Third-party apps now have access to Activity rings and summaries from Apple Watch through HealthKit

Apple Music improvements

■ Add songs from the Apple Music catalog to playlists without having to add them to your library

■ Watch music videos on iPad in full screen

■ See what’s playing on Beats 1 directly from the Radio tab — without having to tune in

■ Tap the name of the currently playing song in Now Playing to go to the album

■ See which songs are most popular on albums in the Apple Music catalog

Photos improvements

■ Extract the still image from a Live Photo by tapping Duplicate which will give you the option to duplicate the Live Photo, or just the still image

■ Improved download performance of full size original photos or videos stored in iCloud Photo Library

■ Share Live Photos between iOS and OS X through AirDrop and Messages

iBooks improvements

■ Adds the ability for iBooks to store your PDFs in iCloud, making them available across all of your devices

■ Adds support for downloading previously purchased audiobooks from the iBooks Store

■ Adds the ability to share your audiobook purchases with any of your family members using Family Sharing

■ New controls for reading Manga more comfortably with faster page turns and simple controls for enlarging text

■ Adds Apple Pencil support to highlight and save your favorite passages for later

Education improvements

■ Introduces a preview of Shared iPad that enables multiple students to use the same iPad at different times throughout the day

■ Adds support for signing into iCloud with Managed Apple IDs

■ Adds compatibility for the new Classroom app

■ New configuration options to control the organization of apps on the Home Screen

■ New controls to determine which apps to show or hide on the Home Screen

■ Adds support for new restrictions for iCloud Photo Library and Apple Music

CarPlay improvements

■ Apple Music members now have access to their For You and New content in CarPlay

■ New Nearby screen in Maps to quickly find Gas, Parking, Restaurants, Coffee, and other driving essentials

■ Siri speaks more concisely when reading back and composing messages in CarPlay

■ Equalized sound levels between different audio sources in CarPlay

Dolby Digital Plus

■ Adds support for playing video encoded with Dolby Digital Plus audio streams with support for multichannel output using the Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter

Hardware keyboard improvements and fixes

■ Enables the use of arrow keys to navigate through lists in Spotlight, Mail and Safari

■ Enables the use of space bar to scroll in Mail

■ Improves performance when using the space bar to scroll in Safari

■ Adds the ability to bring up the software keyboard from the Shortcut Bar when a hardware keyboard is connected

■ Fixes an issue that could prevent unlocking an iPad using the hardware keyboard

■ Fixes an issue that caused hardware keyboards to become unresponsive in captive login pages

■ Fixes an issue that could cause the Messages input field to disappear behind the Shortcut Bar when connected to a hardware keyboard

Other improvements

■ Maps adds support for getting a highlighted view of destinations and stops for a specific transit line by tapping on it

■ Maps now displays whether there are multiple transit line options for each route suggestion

■ Wallet app adds the ability to view the app related to a card or pass in the Wallet app by tapping an icon on the card or pass

■ Apple Pay adds support for signing up for store rewards programs with Apple Pay at point of sale terminal

■ Podcasts adds support for fullscreen video playback

■ Activity app adds a new Workout tab with monthly summaries of key metrics and the ability to filter by workout type

■ Move to iOS now offers app suggestions from the App Store based on apps installed on your Android device

■ iCloud Storage adds proactive status information and in-app notifications to let you know before you run out of space

■ Two-factor authentication is now available for all iCloud accounts

■ Siri support for Finnish (Finland), Hebrew (Israel), and Malay (Malaysia)

Enterprise bug fixes

■ Resolves an issue that could prevent some VPP purchased apps from launching after being updated

■ Adds iCloud backup support for device-assigned VPP apps

■ Addresses an issue that could prevent certificates from installing correctly when updating configuration profiles

■ Fixes an issue for some IPSec VPN configurations that could cause the internet connection to be interrupted after a VPN session was ended

■ Fixes an issue to prevent iBooks from emailing enterprise managed PDFs from unmanaged accounts

■ Resolves an issue for some Exchange users that caused Calendar to send multiple responses to the same invitation

■ Improves reliability for devices connecting to OS X Caching Server

Accessibility bug fixes

■ Improves 3D Touch reliability with Switch Control Accessibility option

■ Fixes an issue where VoiceOver interferes with speech after dictation

■ Fixes an issue where VoiceOver users could not write a review on the App Store

■ Resolves an issue where VoiceOver becomes unresponsive when receiving a phone call with a Bluetooth headset

■ Fixes an issue where large text was unreadable in Reminders

Other bug fixes, performance and stability improvements

■ Fixes an issue where manually changing the date to May 1970 or earlier could prevent your iOS device from turning on after a restart

■ Fixes issues that could prevent some iCloud Backups from completing

■ Fixes an issue for some users where Health data was incomplete after restoring from iCloud Backup

■ Fixes an issue where an inaccurate battery percentage could be displayed

■ Addresses an issue that prevented iMessage or FaceTime activation for some users

■ Addresses an issue that could prevent displaying the Phone interface while receiving a call

■ Fixes an issue that enabled overriding restrictions applied to cellular data toggle

■ Fixes an issue that caused notification settings to appear in the Watch app for apps that were not installed on Apple Watch

■ Improves reliability when using 3D Touch on the keyboard

■ Improves stability of the Phone app when setting up voicemail

■ Improves stability of the Mail app when your device is low on storage

■ Improves stability in Mail while using Mail Drop to send large attachments

Aside from the iOS world, Mac users will find OS X 10.11.4 available to update, and Apple Watch and Apple TV owners will find tvOS 9.2 and WatchOS 2.2 available for updating as well.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, News

21 Comments

» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Release Notes Guy says:

    iOS 9.3 release notes right here!

    Security release notes here: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT206166

    Generic release notes here:

    With this update your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch gain improvements to Notes, News, Health, Apple Music and a new feature called Night Shift that may even help you get a better night’s sleep by shifting the colors in your display to the warmer end of the spectrum at night. New features, improvements, and bug fixes include:

    Night Shift
    When enabled, Night Shift uses your iOS device’s clock and geolocation to determine when it’s sunset in your location, then it automatically shifts the colors in your display to the warmer end of the spectrum and may even help you get a better night’s sleep.

    Notes improvements
    Protect notes that contain your most personal data with Touch ID or a passcode

    Sort notes alphabetically, by date created, or by date edited

    When sketching, quickly bring up a fresh canvas with a two finger swipe, or by tapping the New Sketch button

    A new checklist button at the bottom of every note makes it easier to create lists

    Show thumbnails instead of large images and attachments by long-pressing on any image or attachment in a note

    Choose whether photos and videos taken within Notes are stored only in Notes, or also added to Photos

    Long-press on an Evernote Export file to import its contents into Notes
    News improvements

    New Top Stories section in For You highlights the most important stories of the day

    Discover something great to read in Editors’ Picks, a selection of channels and topics handpicked by our Apple News editors

    Swipe left on stories in For You on iPhone to quickly share or save or swipe right for more options

    Play video stories right from For You — without opening the article

    Read stories and watch videos in landscape orientation on iPhone
    Change the text size in articles to make reading easier

    Health improvements
    Related third-party apps for select data types such as weight, workouts and sleep are displayed in the Health app

    Health dashboard adds support for move, exercise, and stand Activity data and goals from Apple Watch

    Easy access to Dashboard and Medical ID using 3D Touch Quick Actions from the Home screen

    Third-party apps now have access to Activity rings and summaries from Apple Watch through HealthKit
    Apple Music improvements
    Add songs from the Apple Music catalog to playlists without having to add them to your library
    Watch music videos on iPad in full screen
    See what’s playing on Beats 1 directly from the Radio tab — without having to tune in
    Tap the name of the currently playing song in Now Playing to go to the album
    See which songs are most popular on albums in the Apple Music catalog
    Photos improvements
    Extract the still image from a Live Photo by tapping Duplicate which will give you the option to duplicate the Live Photo, or just the still image
    Improved download performance of full size original photos or videos stored in iCloud Photo Library
    Share Live Photos between iOS and OS X through AirDrop and Messages
    iBooks improvements
    Adds the ability for iBooks to store your PDFs in iCloud, making them available across all of your devices
    Adds support for downloading previously purchased audiobooks from the iBooks Store
    Adds the ability to share your audiobook purchases with any of your family members using Family Sharing
    New controls for reading Manga more comfortably with faster page turns and simple controls for enlarging text
    Adds Apple Pencil support to highlight and save your favorite passages for later
    Education improvements
    Introduces a preview of Shared iPad that enables multiple students to use the same iPad at different times throughout the day
    Adds support for signing into iCloud with Managed Apple IDs
    Adds compatibility for the new Classroom app
    New configuration options to control the organization of apps on the Home Screen
    New controls to determine which apps to show or hide on the Home Screen
    Adds support for new restrictions for iCloud Photo Library and Apple Music
    CarPlay improvements
    Apple Music members now have access to their For You and New content in CarPlay
    New Nearby screen in Maps to quickly find Gas, Parking, Restaurants, Coffee, and other driving essentials
    Siri speaks more concisely when reading back and composing messages in CarPlay
    Equalized sound levels between different audio sources in CarPlay
    Dolby Digital Plus
    Adds support for playing video encoded with Dolby Digital Plus audio streams with support for multichannel output using the Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter
    Hardware keyboard improvements and fixes
    Enables the use of arrow keys to navigate through lists in Spotlight, Mail and Safari
    Enables the use of space bar to scroll in Mail
    Improves performance when using the space bar to scroll in Safari
    Adds the ability to bring up the software keyboard from the Shortcut Bar when a hardware keyboard is connected
    Fixes an issue that could prevent unlocking an iPad using the hardware keyboard
    Fixes an issue that caused hardware keyboards to become unresponsive in captive login pages
    Fixes an issue that could cause the Messages input field to disappear behind the Shortcut Bar when connected to a hardware keyboard
    Other improvements
    Maps adds support for getting a highlighted view of destinations and stops for a specific transit line by tapping on it
    Maps now displays whether there are multiple transit line options for each route suggestion
    Wallet app adds the ability to view the app related to a card or pass in the Wallet app by tapping an icon on the card or pass
    Apple Pay adds support for signing up for store rewards programs with Apple Pay at point of sale terminal
    Podcasts adds support for fullscreen video playback
    Activity app adds a new Workout tab with monthly summaries of key metrics and the ability to filter by workout type
    Move to iOS now offers app suggestions from the App Store based on apps installed on your Android device
    iCloud Storage adds proactive status information and in-app notifications to let you know before you run out of space
    Two-factor authentication is now available for all iCloud accounts
    Support for Spanish (Latin America) system language
    Siri support for Finnish (Finland), Hebrew (Israel), and Malay (Malaysia)
    Enterprise bug fixes
    Resolves an issue that could prevent some VPP purchased apps from launching after being updated
    Adds iCloud backup support for device-assigned VPP apps
    Addresses an issue that could prevent certificates from installing correctly when updating configuration profiles
    Fixes an issue for some IPSec VPN configurations that could cause the internet connection to be interrupted after a VPN session was ended
    Fixes an issue to prevent iBooks from emailing enterprise managed PDFs from unmanaged accounts
    Resolves an issue for some Exchange users that caused Calendar to send multiple responses to the same invitation
    Improves reliability for devices connecting to OS X Caching Server
    Accessibility bug fixes
    Improves 3D Touch reliability with Switch Control Accessibility option
    Fixes an issue where VoiceOver interferes with speech after dictation
    Fixes an issue where VoiceOver users could not write a review on the App Store
    Resolves an issue where VoiceOver becomes unresponsive when receiving a phone call with a Bluetooth headset
    Fixes an issue where large text was unreadable in Reminders
    Other bug fixes, performance and stability improvements
    Fixes an issue where manually changing the date to May 1970 or earlier could prevent your iOS device from turning on after a restart
    Fixes issues that could prevent some iCloud Backups from completing
    Fixes an issue for some users where Health data was incomplete after restoring from iCloud Backup
    Fixes an issue where an inaccurate battery percentage could be displayed
    Addresses an issue that prevented iMessage or FaceTime activation for some users
    Addresses an issue that could prevent displaying the Phone interface while receiving a call
    Fixes an issue that enabled overriding restrictions applied to cellular data toggle
    Fixes an issue that caused notification settings to appear in the Watch app for apps that were not installed on Apple Watch
    Improves reliability when using 3D Touch on the keyboard
    Improves stability of the Phone app when setting up voicemail
    Improves stability of the Mail app when your device is low on storage
    Improves stability in Mail while using Mail Drop to send large attachments
    Some features may not be available for all countries or all areas, for more information visit: http://www.apple.com/ios/feature-availability and http://www.apple.com/ios/updates/
    For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

  2. Wharf Xanadu says:

    I downloaded from settings app. Finished in 30 minutes to update. Not bad. But kind of a boring isolated update.

  3. Jignesh says:

    iPhone stuck on “Verifying Update” with iOS 9.3 trying to install, help me to fix plz.

    How long is this going to take to verify iPhone?

  4. BillG says:

    Maybe it’s because I updated my iTunes today, but the iPhone “Product Type” is not listed under the iPhone Summary.

    Any other way to verify the product type, either in iTunes or iOS?

    Thanks!

    • indei says:

      You have to click on the IMEI / Serial entry to switch it to “Product Type” in the iTunes app

      What is your iPhone type? I chose the iPhone 6s Plus download for me.

      • BillG says:

        That worked perfectly! Thanks indei!

        I was able to cycle through the Serial Number, UDID, ECID, and Product Type just by clicking on them.

        That’s very unintuitive and had no idea that was a feature. Thanks again for pointing it out!

  5. indei says:

    How is battery life in iOS 9.3? IS it better?

    • DCR says:

      Good question, this. Under 9.2.X, with all background tasks ended and a full charge, my iPhone 6+ would use 1-3 percent of battery just idle overnight, maybe less. Last night, under the same conditions with 9.3, it used 43 percent–just sitting!

      I enabled Low Power Mode, but why must I?

  6. Daniel Ebeck says:

    “The best way to update to iOS 9.3 on any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is through the over the air update mechanism on the device.”

    No, it isn’t! It’s the easiest way, but comes with a whole list of gotchas; no backup, requires enough space free in storage and use of mobile data if not connected to wifi, just for starters.

    The best way is always to connect to iTunes, run a backup / sync and then run the update. That way, you have no danger of losing data if there is a problem and the download will be faster over a wired connection.

    • OK says:

      OK Dan, please provide a detailed walkthrough explaining the steps you offer for updating iOS, so that your technologically illiterate great aunt could follow the instructions. Thank you. We’re waiting.

      In the meantime, every other person who isn’t savvy can go to Settings > iCloud > Backup, then Settings > General > Software Update

      • Daniel Ebeck says:

        Try reading the post, Anon Coward. Best, not easiest. Relying on iCloud and OTA is fine, as long as you are prepared to deal with screw-ups. Try managing a pile of iDevices and see how many failures you get.

        My 70-yr old mother is quite happy to;
        1. Launch iTunes
        2. Plug iDevice in with USB.
        3. Click Download and Update.

  7. Ivan says:

    What about the compatibility of iOS 9.3 with Mavericks and Yosemite?
    With iOS 9.2, synchronization of Contacts, Calendar and iCloud Drive works, but not Notes and Reminders.
    Is it the same with iOS 9.3 or worse?
    Thanks!

  8. Bryan Green says:

    Ever since I updated this time with iOS 9.3 on my iPad 3 it will not start up right away and when it comes on it will freeze…Please Can Apple come up with new updates..Please 😩 👿

  9. Phred says:

    Thr update took about 4 min here in Singapore.

    I love the night shift setting. I have difficulty with blue and green. It is much worse at night when I am tired. My screen now looks like sn old time photograph.

  10. Phred says:

    The damn opdate logged me back into iMessage without asking. No wonder iMessage has so many registerec users. They ars not adked first.

  11. Linda says:

    My iBooks do not show details of books after downloading 9.3, this happens with new books or those already purchased.

  12. Shafiullah says:

    Gooooood

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