Apple Releases iOS 7.1 Update With Bug Fixes and CarPlay Support
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) introduced several changes to its mobile operating system on Monday with the iOS 7.1 update. The newly released software update includes support for Apple’s recently unveiled in-vehicle device integration system, CarPlay, as well as a new manual control mode for Siri.
As stated by Apple on its iOS 7.1 update page, “Now Siri knows when to stop listening. Manually control when Siri listens by holding down the Home button while you speak and releasing it when you’re done.” Usually the voice-activated personal assistant automatically detects when a user has finished speaking. Apple also added several more natural sounding Siri voices for users who speak Mandarin Chinese, U.K. English, Australian English, or Japanese.
The CarPlay iOS 7.1 update means that users who have the iPhone 5 or later models will be able to take advantage of Apple’s new in-vehicle infotainment after connecting their phone with a Lightning cable to a CarPlay-enabled vehicle. CarPlay allows users to more easily access all the functions found on their iPhone while driving. As announced by Apple at the Geneva International Motor Show last week, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo will be the first car makers to release CarPlay-enabled vehicles.
Apple’s latest iOS update also fixes several bugs that have been discovered in iOS 7 since it was first released last September. The iOS 7.1 update includes a fix that improves the fingerprint recognition abilities of the iPhone 5S Touch ID. As previously reported by Apple Insider, many iPhone 5S users have experienced a “fade” issue with Touch ID, in which the fingerprint sensor’s ability to recognize a registered fingerprint gets progressively worse after several weeks of use. Apple also stated that an “occasional Home screen crash bug has been fixed.”
Besides the addition of CarPlay, Siri improvements, and bug fixes, Apple’s iOS 7.1 update also included various changes to the interface and several new features. A display events list option has been added in the month view for Calendar. A new camera setting that automatically enables the HDR mode on the iPhone 5S has also been added. Apple also tweaked iTunes Radio with several new features, including the option to buy albums from the Now Playing screen and the addition of a new search field above Featured Stations.
Apple also gave users more accessibility options, including bolder fonts for easier reading, darker keyboard buttons, and an improved contrast feature. The Reduce Motion option has been expanded to include Weather, Messages, and multi-tasking UI animations.
Apple also added iCloud Keychain support for several additional countries and changed FaceTime so that call notifications are automatically cleared when you answer a call on another device. Finally, Apple noted that the iOS 7.1 update will improve performance on the iPhone 4.
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