iPhone’s latest software update, iOS 7.1, has arrived on user devices. The new software was made available Monday for users of the iPhone 4 and up, iPad2 and later versions, and the 5th generation of iPod Touch. According to Apple, the new software includes interface refinements, improvements, bug fixes and several new features.
One of the main reasons for the software tweak is Apple’s official endorsement of CarPlay, a new interactive feature that is being included in 2014 automobile models by companies like Volvo, Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz. The new vehicle integration system was unveiled to rave reviews recently at the Geneva Auto Show.
For those who are not planning on buying a luxury car this year there are still some important innovations arriving in the Apple iPhone iOS 7.1 update, including a big change in the way Siri functions. The interactive voice command system will now have a manual function, enabling users to hold down the home button while they talk and releasing it when they are done. Up to now, Siri would listen and automatically answer when she sensed the user had stopped. Siri will also feature what Apple calls a “more natural” voice for English versions, as well as UK English, Japanese, Australian and Mandarin Chinese.
The iOS 7.1 software includes a calendar update, giving the user an option to display events while in month-view. It will also display country-specific holidays automatically.
One of the most noticeable features of the new software will be for those who use their iPhone for taking pictures. The new iOS 7.1 will automatically enable HDR in camera mode. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range imaging. Its purpose is to create images that more resemble what you eye sees rather than what the image looks like in your viewfinder.
For users of iTunes Radio, it will now be easier to get your music ad-free. The new software enables users to subscribe to iTunes Radio directly from their device. Users will also be able to use a search to create favorite stations more quickly.
There is something for iPhone 4 users too. Apple promises that those consumers will find improvements in responsiveness and performance in their devices.
Some of the other new update features include an improvement to fingerprint recognition in the Touch ID feature and a fix to occasional Home screen crashes that resulted in quick reboots of devices during use. Users will also find an option to “Reduce Motion” for Weather, Message and multitasking screens, alleviating what has been called a “parallax effect” that was making some users feel ill. The call screen has been updated too with new icons for “accept” and “decline” on incoming calls, and FaceTime notifications will be cleared when a call is answered on a new device. Support for iCloud Keychain has also been expanded across new countries.
To get the newly-arrived iPhone iOS 7.1 update, Apple users simply need to go to “Settings,” select “General” and tap “Software Update.” The download takes around 5 minutes to process. Users can also download the new software on iTunes.
By Chuck Podhaisky