The long awaited Apple iOS 7.1 finally popped up with a red #1 on our iPhone’s and iPad’s this morning. Apple users haven’t been very nice to the ‘most dramatic iOS change ever with iOS 7.0’ as quoted from numerous voices overhead at the WWDC last September. We’ve already noticed a significant change in the speed of our apps opening as well as Safari. Let’s take a look at what’s new in iOS 7.1 and our thoughts on them all.
Update! Is anyone else noticing the subtle change in keyboard font? We are and we like it. The spacing between letters has slightly increased.
1. Siri has been upgraded so you can now hold down the home button while giving commands, letting go to release Siri to search for you. This should end the previous concern of not knowing when Siri stops listening to your voice. You know, when you say, “Siri find me directions to Pizza Hut” but then keep talking to your friend and Siri ends up searching, “Siri find me directions to Pizza Hut hey Dave pass me that bag from the backseat and hang a right turn at the next light”. This update is working great and feels like it should have been integrated from the get go. Yes, you can still use Siri the old way too. Score: A+
2. If you own an iPhone 5S, the native camera app will now automatically detect scenes it thinks can benefit from HDR (high-dynamic range). Unfortunately, we are still stuck on 5’s around here but as photographers we hope this feature can be turned off. We prefer as much manual control as possible. Score: C+ (if you have a 5S please drop us a note in the comments about using this feature)
3. Making phone calls got a new look. The new round call buttons look nice and the placement is better than it was on 7.0. Not much here to really comment on other than it looks good. Score: B
4. Calendar is finally giving us a list view! We’ve been crying about not having this as a standard option in the Calendar app since 7.0 landed on our iPhone’s. It was removed from the initial design after Apple had already had it in previous versions of iOS. Why? We have no idea but we are very happy it has returned. Score: B- Apple you only get a B- for this because it should never have been removed!
5. Apple CarPlay is now on iOS 7.1. We talked about CarPlay last week when it was first shown at the Geneva Motor Show. You can read that article here. We hope to see CarPlay trickle down into more manufacturer models soon and it would be amazing to see it as an available download or upgrade to existing model’s that have a suitable infotainment screen. Hint Hint. Score: A+
Those are the big hit items from the new update. Other minor bug fixes include; iTunes Radio and FaceTime received minor improvements, a handful of updates were made for those visually impaired, the home screen crash bug has been fixed and iPhone 4 users should see a big jump in speed and performance. To grab the new download tap your Settings > General > Software Update and select Download and Install. Learn more about iOS 7.1 here.