The best thing about the iOS 9.3 release

Anyone even remotely familiar with Apple knows that, alongside the new iPad and iPhone, there is a new version of iOS. The new software includes some great new features and updates, and at least one major feature that schools have been wanting for a long time.

There is a new Night Shift mode that may help users get better sleep. Notes can now be locked (passcode or Touch ID). Stills can now be extracted from Live Photos. There is even multi-user support for schools with shared iPads!

The multi-user support is something that we will want to explore as soon as possible. I know there are many schools that have wanted this feature for a long time. I still haven't had a chance to investigate exactly how it works, or how it impacts the deployment process, but that's where the actual best thing about the iOS release comes in. It's the timing.

Major iOS updates are typically delivered with the release of the new flagship iPhone. The problem is that, since the iPhone 4S, that has happened in the fall, just after all of a school's iPads have been deployed. Administrators are left scrambling trying to figure out the impact of the new software. Worse, Apple has made it easy for the user to go ahead and update devices, even if the administrator doesn't yet know the impact of (problems with) the update.

Now, I know this is just a "point release", and I know that iOS 10 (X?) will probably still be released in the fall. I'm just glad that this update, with such a major feature for schools, isn't landing after a new school year has just barely begun. Sure, May or June would be best, but September and October are probably the worst possible time for a new iOS release.