The iOS 7.1 update brings several new features to the iPhone and iPad and improves the performance on older devices like the iPad 3 and the iPhone 4.
Users can download the iOS 7.1 update when connected to WiFi and install the update in around 30 minutes to get the latest software and fix many iOS 7 problems with Touch ID, crashes and more. This guide shows users how to install iOS 7.1 from the device or in iTunes.
Apple delivered a new look for iOS 7 in September right before the iPhone 5s release, and quickly issued a series of small updates to fix bugs that arrived alongside the new look. The most recent iOS 7.0.6 update arrives to patch a security hole in early March, leaving users longing for the iOS 7.1 release to bring major bug fixes and a few new features.
We may soon discover other iOS 7.1 features tucked away in the update, but for users who want to know what’s new in iOS 7.1, here is a fast look at the new features.
What’s New in iOS 7.1
The six-minute iOS 7.1 video below shows off the new iOS 7.1 features on the iPhone 5s. Many of these features are available on other devices, while some like CarPlay require a new car to arrive.
CarPlay for iOS 7.1
Apple is making a play for the auto world with CarPlay. Originally announced in June 2013 as part of iOS 7, Apple is finally read to deliver the feature to the real world.
Users will need a 2014 model car or truck from a partner company that is ready to support CarPlay in order to this feature to work. For now there is no aftermarket radio to add CarPlay to older vehicles.
Siri Manual Control
Users can now control when Siri is listening by holding down the home button. Instead of waiting for Siri to realize you are done speaking, hold down the home button to start Siri and keep holding it while you talk. When you are done, let go and Siri will stop listening and start doing what you ask.
iTunes Radio Search And More
The iOS 7.1 update brings several small tweaks to the iTunes Radio experience. The most noticeable addition is a search bar at the top of the page, accessible with a swipe down, to search for a genre, artist or album to quickly start a station.
Users can also subscribe to iTunes Match right from the device to get an ad-free iTunes Radio experience and it is now easier to buy a song from iTunes Radio.
Calendar List View
Users that rely on the iPhone calendar to manage their busy day will love this small but incredibly useful update. Tap on the small list icon at the top of the Calendar app to show a list of events for that day at the bottom of the calendar.
Apple also added a number of new holidays for specific countries to the calendar automatically.
Enhanced Control of Parallax
Apple increased accessibility options in iOS 7.1 including the reach of the reduce motion blur, or Parallax effect, to extend into the Weather, Messages and Multitasking apps and interfaces.
Users can also control the white point, make apps look darker and display button shapes as. When setting the Bold font option, the keyboard and calculator are now Bold as well.
Auto HDR on the iPhone 5s
iPhone 5S users can turn on Auto HDR Mode which will take one step out of taking a perfect photo. The iPhone 5s can determine when HDR is the best mode to use for a photo and automatically take a HDR photo.
To turn this on tap on the HDR icon near the Flash setting in the Camera app and select Auto. It will respect user preferences to keep the original as well as HDR if that is selected.
FaceTime Audio and FaceTime Calls Sync
FaceTime Audio is a major feature in iOS 7.1 that allows users to make great sounding audio only calls that don’t waste cell phone minutes. The biggest drawback on iOS 7 was iPhone users would come home after a day of using FaceTime Audio to see a bunch of missed FaceTime calls on the iPad.
This led to more than a few accidental call-backs. Now when you answer a FaceTime call the alert will clear from other devices linked to your account.
Touch ID Fixed on iPhone 5s
Another specific iPhone 5s fix is improved Touch ID recognition. Apple addressed the bug that caused Touch ID to slowly forget fingerprints, which was forcing users to teach the iPhone 5s their fingerprints over and over.
Apple doesn’t go into details, but we suggest teaching the iPhone your fingerprints one last time on iOS 7.1 to make sure it is up and running at full speed.
iOS 7 Crashes Fixed
Perhaps the most important iOS 7.1 fix for many users is that Apple fixed the bug which, “could occasionally cause a home screen crash.” Occasional might not be the right word for this issue which hit some users several times a day.
The good news is whatever iOS 7 problem caused this issue, it appears to be fixed for users. Enjoy no crashes while talking on the phone or trying to take pictures.
Better Performance on Old iPhones and iPads
Apple specifically called out the iPhone 4 performance on iOS 7.1, but we found that Apple also improved performance on the iPad 3 with the iOS 7.1 update.
Users will see faster animations and better overall performance on these older devices, which is an impressive feat, and much needed after slow downs that came with iOS 7 last year.
Visual Changes that Complete iOS 7 Design
Apple rounded out the look and feel of iOS 7.1 with small changes to make the phone answer screen, lock screen and other parts of the user interface match iOS 7.
Users may notices some of these, while others will just fade into the background. The answer screen is different when a user calls and the phone is unlocked or when a second call rings through, which will take some small adjustment.
No iOS 7.1 Jailbreak
There is no iOS 7.1 jailbreak available right now, and according to one of the Evad3rs we may not see an iOS 7.1 jailbreak in the near future if at all. Apple closed the security hole used by the Evasi0n7 iOS 7 jailbreak, and while there may be other holes available Pod2g isn’t ready to look for them. Instead the team will likely focus on an iOS 8 jailbreak.