After weeks of testing and fixing the next significant update for iOS devices, the iOS 7.1 is finally available for download. Several websites predicted that it would hit anytime this week and as predicted, Apple made it available just two hours ago.
iOS 7.1 brings some new features as well as bug fixes and includes some changes in the user interface too. The most significant feature of the update is the new CarPlay infotainment system. So, iPhones running iOS 7.1 will have this feature inbuilt which connects directly to the car’s dashboard and controls all its functions ‘Eyes Free’. This feature is significant because all the major car brands are expected to integrate it into their upcoming cars and the first few models from Volvo, Mercedes Benz and Ferrari will hit the market soon.
The update adds some new functions to iTunes Radio app too. For example, users can now directly subscribe to iTunes match from the device instead of logging in from the desktop version. Also, they can now search within featured stations and can start a new station based on new songs and search history faster than before.
The update also fixes some persistent bugs like the reboot/reset bug found on iPhone 5S and iPad Air. So, these devices will no longer reboot/ reset automatically like they previously did. The new OS will also run smoother and faster on old devices like iPhone 4, iPad 3rd Gen and iPad 2. So, those who were experiencing issues after updating to iOS 7 should finally have a smooth experience. Touch ID sensor is also improved and now recognizes inputs more accurately than before.
Another important change is the way the user can give commands to Siri. iOS 7.1 now allows a user to hold the home button for a bit longer to extend its listening times. This will make sure that Siri doesn’t interrupt the user while he’s giving a long command.
There are many changes in UI too. For example, the phone dialer and power off options have now rounded buttons. The repeat and shuffle icons on the Music app is more prominent. Also, the notification panel now allows the user to clear notifications accurately. The keyboard app is also revised to make delete and shift keys more accessible. Calendar app too got an update with new options for displaying events in month view and new automatic holiday additions in many countries.
Overall, the update adds new features, tweaks existing apps like iTunes and Siri and even fixes some persistent bugs like ‘automatic reset’ to improve the overall experience of the iOS user.
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