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Apple iOS 7.1: All the Cool New Features and Fixes

By - Source: Apple | B 14 comments

Apple has introduced some pretty nifty features with iOS 7.1.

Last September, Apple released iOS 7, a major revamp of its mobile operating system for iPhone and iPad. Since then, we've seen a number of smaller OTA updates to the OS. Today brings the first major upgrade to iOS 7, though. This week, Apple finally released iOS 7.1, which brings with it a host of new features. So what can you expect with this iteration of iOS? Read on for the breakdown!

CarPlay

Let's start with the big one: CarPlay. Announced in early March, CarPlay is Apple's in-car infotainment system. The company wants to make using 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.

Siri

You can now manually control when Siri listens by holding down the home button and releasing it when you're finished asking your question. It's important to note that Siri isn't always listening for commands, rather this is an alternative method of letting Siri know when you've stopped talking. Before, Siri had to 'notice' by itself. Now, by releasing the home button, you're telling her (or him) you're done and it's time for her to go do her thing. Siri now also has some new voices, including some more natural sounding ones for Mandarin, UK and Australian English, and Japanese. These are available in both male and female versions.

Music

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.

Calendar

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.

Camera

This one is specifically for iPhone 5S users. Owners of Apple's current generation smartphone will notice a new setting in the Camera application that automatically enables HDR. You can also use the new 'Upload Burst Photos' option, which is accessed via iOS Settings.

Performance

We all know OS updates can be a point of uncertainty for those with older generation devices. If you're still rocking an iPhone 4, Apple is promising you a bump in performance. Cupertino hasn't offered any specifics on this, so we don't know what kind of bump you'll get, but with the iPhone 4 pushing four years old, it's nice users haven't been forgotten just yet.

FaceTime

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.

UI

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.

Fixes

While Apple has added plenty of new features with iOS 7.1, the bug fixes are a lot more sparse. This is largely because all the minor updates to iOS 7 up until now (iOS 7.01 to iOS 7.06, which was just released mid-February) have been about fixes. Though some of them brought additional features, they, for the most part, focused on fixing bugs, which means there isn't a boatload of bug fixes being administered with iOS 7.1.

iOS 7.1 patches exploits used by the evasi0n7 Jailbreak. It also fixes a bug that caused home screen crashing, and improves TouchID recognition. There was also a problem with displaying the unread mail badge for numbers over 10,000. This has also been fixed. Other than that, we expect Apple will continue to roll out fixes on a case-by-case basis in future updates.

*The Dark Keyboard option was apparently removed before final release. We've emailed Apple for clarification on this one. We'll let you know when we hear back. Hat tip to @mcnaugha for the tip!

Follow Jane McEntegart @JaneMcEntegart. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

Display 14 Comments.
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  • 7 Hide
    Platinum Era , March 10, 2014 8:22 PM
    And as usual, don't update to this if jailbroken.
  • 3 Hide
    notabeerbelly , March 10, 2014 10:46 PM
    This doesn't fix the safari crash with a low memory error showing up in the log. Try to use a web browser (chrome included) with ipad air or mini and get a crash often, too often. This has been a bug since the release. Apple, do you care? Your ipads are unusable for more than the occasional glance at a web site.
  • 0 Hide
    ZolaIII , March 11, 2014 3:05 AM
    75% of those futures are more than two years present in Android. As it goes for browser out of mem crashes it's related to native Linux & BSD memory handling. & its present & on Android & iOS. On Android you can actually have choice to bay device with 2-3 GB of RAM & you can enable swap, from 4.4 Zram is a standard future with compression ratio of about 3:1. All of this don't really solve a problem a smarter apps with they one mem handling should.
  • 1 Hide
    AlistairDale , March 11, 2014 3:47 AM
    When playing a Genius playlist I cannot switch off Repeat All.
  • -2 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , March 11, 2014 5:25 AM
    Fixes and new features even for devices that are 3-4 years old and you get the update on zero day.Android devices can be 3-4 months old and take +6-12 months to get any new updates (excluding warranty voiding rooting of device).Another clear advantage of Apple phones over Android. A phone is more than just what OS you get on the day your purchased it. Its about the continual updates for fixes and new features you get over the years and how fast you get them when OS is updated.
  • 1 Hide
    irish_adam , March 11, 2014 7:11 AM
    Quote:
    Fixes and new features even for devices that are 3-4 years old and you get the update on zero day.Android devices can be 3-4 months old and take +6-12 months to get any new updates (excluding warranty voiding rooting of device).Another clear advantage of Apple phones over Android. A phone is more than just what OS you get on the day your purchased it. Its about the continual updates for fixes and new features you get over the years and how fast you get them when OS is updated.
    If your device is 4 years old your warranty is already void. Also if you want your Android to always have the latest operating system then there are options, you can buy a nexus or one of those new phones that is compatible and supported by cyanogenmod. Android may not be for everyone but it gives a level of freedom that no one else provides. I kept my galaxy S original for 4 years because it was rooted and ran the latest OS, thats longer than i have ever kept a phone and i'm sure the LTE note 2 that i have will easily keep me going for another 4
  • 0 Hide
    AMacAddict , March 11, 2014 8:25 AM
    The dark keyboard was removed in beta 2.
  • 0 Hide
    red77star , March 11, 2014 8:29 AM
    Better than Windows 8 Phone
  • 1 Hide
    iProGuy , March 11, 2014 8:53 AM
    Apple has not fixed the wallpaper zoom completely even in iOS 7.1 The photos taken with iPhone camera don't fit properly.Use this app called Wallax - set entire photos as wallpaper on iOS 7 and above. https://itunes.apple.com/app/id722262021
  • 0 Hide
    zloginet , March 11, 2014 9:07 AM
    The screen on the iPhone 5s is so flipping shitty and small. Damn I couldn't do it. You poor poor people.
  • -2 Hide
    nebun , March 11, 2014 10:06 AM
    Quote:
    And as usual, don't update to this if jailbroken.
    why do you want to jail break your phone...there is really no need...the phone is already unlocked....android is a different story....don't have any control, really
  • -1 Hide
    ericburnby , March 11, 2014 12:32 PM
    Wow, people getting upset over an OS they don't use (or like) because it got an update? Pathetic.

    And I see we have sone 12 years olds putting "i" in front of a word to look clever. What a brilliant idea.

  • 1 Hide
    imakuzim , March 11, 2014 11:25 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Wow, people getting upset over an OS they don't use (or like) because it got an update? Pathetic.And I see we have sone 12 years olds putting "i" in front of a word to look clever. What a brilliant idea.
    This is a forum buddy! People come here to criticize and compare! That is what tech forums are for! Now run along to your apple forums if you do not like it.
    I don't think there's any comparison and criticizing. I only see envy and hate.
  • 0 Hide
    Jay Viradiya , March 19, 2014 11:22 PM
    A waterproof tablet? Fantastic!! Oops not fantastic I consider it as Tab-astic, indeed a Tab-astic Revolution. Finally a tablet which is nearly a laptop has arrived- in fact a Play-station certified laptop. The next expectation from Sony by People's desire- would be Windows OS in tablets. Hats off to Sony and their Tech-explorers!You can also visit on:http://techwaq.com/ultra-slim-water-proof-sony-experia-z2-tablet-featured-latest-android-tech-pleasing-tablet-market/