It’s finally here. Apple’s next big update is now available for download. It is “packed with interface refinements” and adds a bunch of new features, including CarPlay. Plus, you’ll have more control over Siri, better iTunes Radio features, and more. That annoying bug that would crash your iPad on the home screen… gone.
The biggest addition to this update is CarPlay. Last week, Apple announced the rollout of the new feature, while car manufacturers showed off demonstrations of the service in action. Today’s iOS update makes your iPhone compatible with the installed technology that is on its way to the showroom floor of Ferrari, Volvo, and Mercedes-Benz in just a few months. This update is available on the iPad. However, the update notes clearly state that users will be able to connect their iPhone (no wording that refers to the iPad) to a CarPlay enabled vehicle.
In addition to CarPlay, Siri has received a few changes that make it possible for you to control when the virtual assistant listens to you. You will be able to change the feature to allow you to hold down the Home button while you speak and then releasing it when you are done. The natural-sounding voice option for Mandarin Chinese, UK English, Australian English, and Japanese that was first included in the fifth beta of iOS 7.1 has been added to this update for better Siri speech.
iTunes Radio received a few interface redesigns, including adding a search field above Featured Stations so you don’t have to scroll down to find the plus (+) button to create a new station first. You can now buy albums with one tap under “Now Playing.”
For those experiencing motion sickness when using iOS 7, Apple has added a few more options to reduce the effects. The Reduce Motion feature now includes the Weather app, Messages, and multitasking UI animations.
The full iOS 7.1 update notes are as follows:
- iOS experience designed for the car
- Simply connect your iPhone to a CarPlay enabled vehicle
- Supports Phone, Music, Maps, Messages, and 3rd-party audio apps
- Control with Siri and the car’s touchscreen, knobs, and buttons
- Manually control when Siri listens by holding down the home button while you speak and releasing it when you’re done as an alternative to letting Siri automatically notice when you stop talking
- New, more natural sounding male and female voices for Mandarin Chinese, UK English, Australian English, and Japanese
- Search field above Featured Stations to easily create stations based on your favorite artist or song
- Buy albums with the tap of a button from Now Playing
- Subscribe to iTunes Match on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to enjoy iTunes Radio ad-free
- Option to display events in month view
- Country specific holidays automatically added for many countries
- Bold font option now includes the keyboard, calculator, and many icon glyphs
- Reduce Motion option now includes Weather, Messages, and multitasking UI animations
- New options to display button shapes, darken app colors, and reduce white point
- New Camera setting to automatically enable HDR for iPhone 5s
- iCloud Keychain support in additional countries
- FaceTime call notifications are automatically cleared when you answer a call on another device
- Fixes a bug that could occasionally cause a home screen crash
- Improves Touch ID fingerprint recognition
- Improved performance for iPhone 4
- Fixes display of Mail unread badge for numbers greater than 10,000
- Continued user interface refinements
To download the new update, go to your Settings app and tap “General,” and then “Software Update.” Tap “Download and Install” to begin installation, which will take approximately 10 minutes, depending on your Wi-Fi capabilities.