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What’s new in iOS 14.3? Home app updates, Apple Watch cardio fitness notifications, more

In addition to adding ProRAW support and suggesting new third-party app suggestion features, iOS 14.3 also includes a variety of other changes for iPhone users. There is new evidence of new Home app features, new Apple Watch notifications, and more.

HomeKit accessory updates

iOS 14.3 suggests that you’ll soon be able to install software updates for third-party HomeKit accessories directly in the Home app. Currently, HomeKit accessories require that you use the manufacturer’s application to install software updates.

In the Home app, you’ll see new messages for when “accessories have updates available” with a convenient “Update All” button for when multiple HomeKit products have new software versions available. It will work similarly to how you currently update HomePods via the Home app.

What’s unclear is how accessory makers themselves will adopt this functionality. Nonetheless, iOS 14.3 lays the groundwork to solve one of the most annoying current HomeKit limitations.

New search engine option

iOS 14.3 also adds the ability to set Ecosia as your default search engine. To find this, open the Settings app, choose Safari, and choose Search Engine. Here, you’ll see Ecosia as a new default option alongside the existing options for Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckGo, and Google.

For those unfamiliar, Ecosia is an eco-friendly search engine:

We use the profit we make from your searches to plant trees where they are needed most. Trees mean a happy environment, healthy people, and a strong economy. We don’t sell your data to advertisers and have no third party trackers, unlike most other search engines.

Cardio Fitness notifications

iOS 14.3 also indicates that, with watchOS 7.2, Apple Watch users will be able to receive new cardio fitness notifications. These will notify you if your cardio fitness level reaches a certain level that it could impact your daily activity. Apple explains:

Apple Watch can notify you if your cardio fitness reaches a level where you may experience limitations in your daily activity.

This is likely related to VO2 Max data, which Apple Watch currently monitors and displays in the Fitness app and in the Health app. In fact, alongside the introduction of the Apple Watch Series 6 in September, Apple teased that Apple Watch would soon add Low Cardio Fitness Notifications later this year. iOS 14.3 and watchOS 7.2 appear to include the basis of this functionality.


Here’s more 9to5Mac coverage on what’s new in iOS 14.3:

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Avatar for Chance Miller Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

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