This week, Apple finally released iOS 7.1 to the public, It includes bug fixes for the old iOS 7.0.6, along with UI enhancements and even some new features.
Here’s what is new in the latest version of the operating system.
CarPlay, announced in early March, is Apple’s in-car infotainment system. It lets you control your iPhone in the car safer and more fun. CarPlay will give users access to maps, GPS routing, iTunes, Siri, and the ability to make calls and send messages via the iPhone and iMessage.
Apple has also made a few tweaks to the user interface that you’ll no doubt run into sooner or later. These include a new ‘Dark Keyboard.’ You’ll find this under the iOS Settings – > Accessibility.* There you can also navigate to the ‘Increase Contrast’ tab where you’ll find a ‘Darken Colors’ option. You’ll also notice that the bold font option now extends to the keyboard and calculator, and the Reduce Motion option includes Weather, Messages, and multitasking UI animations.
The dialer has gotten a refresh, too, as has the slide-to-power-off UI. TouchID and Passcode now feature on the main menu when you navigate to iOS Settings and ‘Touch ID requires your passcode when iPhone restarts’ will now pop up when you restart your phone.
Apple’s native Calendar app will now offer you the option of displaying events while in ‘month view.’ In addition to this, the company has added country-specific holidays for new countries (though the release notes don’t offer a list, so you’ll have to check yours and report back in the comments). Apple has also redesigned the list view.
There is now new voice options for Siri, especially in the UK where the voice is a lot more calmer and less harsh in tone – it is trying to be your friend rather than a school teacher. English Siri in the UK and Australia have been improved, as well as Japanese and Mandarin. Check out Apple Insider to hear examples of the new and improved Siri voices.
iTunes Radio will now let you buy albums based on the song that’s currently playing with just one button press. Apple is also adding a search field above featured stations and allowing users to subscribe to iTunes Match via iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. In addition to the changes made to iTunes Radio, Music applications now have Shuffle and Repeat buttons for the times when you want to be surprised or when you don’t.
This one is specifically for iPhone 5S users.
If you open the Camera, you’ll now get a small yellow indicator at the bottom of the device letting you know whether or not your automatic flash or automatic HDR is on or off before you take a shot.
Apple introduced a parallax (or motion effect) in iOS 7, as well as a way to reduce it under Settings. Although the effect seemed cool to many, some users said it evoked motion sickness for them.
Apple has therefore provided an option to turn it off completely in iOS 7.1. When switching to a new background, you’ll see a toggle to turn motion on or off.
If you’re used to FaceTiming across multiple devices, you’ll be pleased to learn that call notifications from Apple’s video calling application will now automatically be cleared when you take a call on another device.