updated 09:00 pm EDT, Fri March 14, 2014
Apple Store updates offer enhanced in-store alerts for iPhone, gift card buying for iPad
The Apple Store apps (separate editions for iPhone and iPad) got small upgrades on Friday, moving to versions 2.9.2 (iPhone) and 1.1 (iPad). The iPhone version improves US in-store alerts utilizing Apple's iBeacon technology, in line with iBeacon improvements in iOS 7.1. The iPad version of the app adds the ability to buy gift cards directly. Users can choose to have physical cards mailed them, or have virtual cards emailed to them (this functionality already exists in the iPhone version).
Some users report battery issues with iOS 7.1
As often happens following a significant iOS update, discussions have emerged on Apple's support forums that see some users reporting unusually fast battery drain following the installation of v7.1. Testing by Ars Technica could not reproduce the issue, as the differences in battery tests were so small they fell within its own margin of error -- but the site did report that small battery-life drops in a number of areas across its tests of iOS 7.1.
A potential source of the issue could be the recent change in iBeacon monitoring status to "always on," though users would have needed to grant permission for the system's push notifications on an app-by-app basis. Apple has not commented on potential sources for the issue, but some users have reported that a "clean install" -- erasing and restoring the device -- resolves the problem. Users may also want to go through settings and check for changes in background usage by applications.