Apple Releases iOS 7.1 With CarPlay, Improved Siri And Touch ID

Apple has announced the release of iOS 7.1, the newest version of its mobile software for iPhones and iPads. The release comes little less than six months after the radically redesigned iOS 7 arrived back in September 2013.

Like iOS 7, its latest iteration is compatible with the iPhone 4 and subsequent models, the iPad 2 and its subsequent variants (including the iPad Mini line-up), and not to mention, the 5th generation iPod Touch models. Like all software updates, this one too boasts of a plethora of bug fixes, design tweaks and feature additions. Let us take a quick look at what’s new with iOS 7.1.

CarPlay

Initially showcased at the Geneva Auto Show earlier this month, CarPlay was formerly known as “iOS in the Car”. It has made its official debut as CarPlay with iOS 7.1. This basically is a tool that will let your iPhone and its software seamlessly integrate with your in-car infotainment system. Apart from handling mundane things like making and answering calls using voice command, it will also help you with navigation, messaging and music. Apple has made the UI as intuitive as possible to ensure that the driver is not distracted from his primary job of driving. As you might have guessed, this requires car manufacturers to join hands with Apple, and some of them have actually done that. Car manufacturers who now support CarPlay include Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo. A host of other players are set to enter the fray in the coming months. CarPlay is of course powered by Siri.

Siri

Talking about Siri brings me to the fact that with iOS 7.1, she would sound a lot natural – thanks to addition of a plethora of natural-sounding voices for U.K. English, Australian English, Japanese, and Mandarin Chinese languages. The biggest addition however is perhaps the new push-to-talk mode whereby users can hold the home button to fine tune the duration of your query for Siri.

Camera

The major update that iOS 7.1 to the camera software is the addition of an HDR Auto mode.

Calendar

For office going iOS users who have been missing the “list view” within month view, it has returned! Also finding its way in is country specific holidays list that shows up depending on where your iPhone is located.

iTunes Radio

You can now buy albums from within iTunes Radio – a feature that wasn’t available when the software first arrived with iOS 7.

Touch ID

Improvements have also been made to the Touch ID biometric reader, making the fingerprint recognition bit even better with iOS 7.1

How to Download
Wondering how to get this latest version of iOS? All you need to do is to navigate to the Settings menu on your iOS device, go to the “General” section and then to the “Software Update” menu. You should be able to see an option to upgrade the software over-the-air. In case you do not see an update listed, you may also try connecting the device to either a Mac or a PC and update to iOS 7.1 using iTunes.by selecting the “Check for Upgrade” button in your device’s summary window. Note that you might want to use your Wi-Fi connection for the software download as it is a large file.

Used iOS 7.1 already? How did you find the new improvements? Do let us know!