updated 07:10 pm EDT, Mon March 10, 2014
Highlights main features of new version, showcases CarPlay
Apple's release earlier on Monday of iOS 7.1 is considered significant enough to prompt the company to create a dedicated page for it, showing off some of the new features and improvements made in the release. The page covers the major "marquee" features of iOS 7.1, including support for CarPlay (in supported automobiles), automatic HDR selection, better control of Siri, changes to the Calendar and phone icons, and a bevy of bugfixes, along with improved performance for iPhone 4 users and other more subtle and optional tweaks.
Some of the changes to the Phone application
The top highlight is CarPlay, Apple's new system for integrating key functions of iOS 7 into an vehicle's built-in infotainment system. A number of carmakers have already demoed or pledged support for the system, and the company says its interface allows drivers to utilize a "smarter, safer way to make calls, get directions, or play music from your iPhone while in the car" by just plugging in an iPhone. A "learn more" link takes visitors to a more detailed page on CarPlay technology.
Other parts of the page inform users that iOS 7.1 now lets them control exactly how long Siri "listens" by holding the Home button; that the Camera app can be set for "HDR Auto," which will take two exposures automatically if conditions seem appropriate for an HDR image to be a significant improvement, but will otherwise just take a normal exposure; that some of the icons for phone use have been updated, and that the month view in Calendar now indicates events and gives brief reminders of what they are when a given day is tapped.
A new darker option with less transparency
In addition, the page lists improved performance for iPhone 4 owners, improved Touch ID recognition that affected some users, and an occasional Home Screen bug that caused crashes has now been resolved. Unmentioned on the overview page but also present in iOS 7.1 are more minor features, such as some changes in Accessibility settings that allow for larger and bolder type, a duller white background, darker colors and less transparency in the dock and folders, along with new "head gesture" control of functions like Siri for disabled users; a redesigned "slide to power off" slider; an overall improvement in the speed of animations, such as opening folders; the ability to have all "burst" photos uploaded to Photo Stream, rather than just the auto-selected "best shots"; a new, separate "Touch ID & Passcode" section on the main page of Settings; a tweaked keyboard design, and more obvious "buttons" in the phone dialer and with phone icons generally.
The updates also "breaks" the current Evasi0n jailbreak for iOS 7.0.4 by closing a key kernel exploit as part of its various security fixes. Evasi0n users will want to avoid the update until a new method for installing the unofficial alteration is found.
Calendar and Call Option changes