Apple Releases iOS 7.1 Upgrade, Includes CarPlay Support

Apple has taken the wraps of the latest upgrade for its iOS 7 operating system, with iOS version 7.1 which includes the in-car system, CarPlay, along with a mixture of bug fixes and cosmetic updates.

Announced today on Apple’s website, iOS 7.1 had been rumoured to have been in development for months and in beta since November. The update includes improvements and bug fixes for iPhone and iPad users, including security fixes following issues concerning several apps including Safari, FaceTime and the iTunes store, as well as killing a bug which caused the homescreen to crash and often made the device restart.

Ready to drive

iOS 7.1 also introduces device support for Apple’s in-car system CarPlay, which was announced last month and is set to be installed in new vehicles from many top manufacturers by the end of 2014. The service allows drivers to access key apps including Siri, Maps, and the iTunes store whilst driving, giving them access to services such as step-by-step driving directions and radio and music choices.

“CarPlay takes the things you want to do with your iPhone while driving and puts them on your car’s built-in display,” Apple said. “Now you have a smarter, safer way to make calls, get directions, or play music from your iPhone while in the car. Just plug in your iPhone and go.”

Among the other new features in iOS 7.1 are a tweak to Siri which allows users to manually control when the app is listening, which is done by holding down the Home button while you speak and releasing it when you’re done. There is also a tweak to the Touch ID fingerprint recognition system, which has also been improved following reports that the service became less accurate in its detection following frequent use.

The update also includes a few new camera features, such as an indicator when auto-flash will kick in and a new auto HDR mode for the iPhone 5S.

Lastly, there have also been several cosmetic changes to some apps which had been slow to adapt to iOS 7’s new smooth and rounded design style, with the phone dialler app in particular getting a more rounded interface. Users who want to disable wallpaper motion can also now do so more easily.

The Music app has also seen some aesthetic changes which give the shuffle and repeat buttons more prominence, and the shift and delete keys have received a similar treatment in the software’s keyboard.

Users will need a spare 1.9GB of free space to install the update, which can be downloaded through the ‘Settings’ and then ‘General’ menus on current iOS 7 devices.

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Mike Moore

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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