Apple is currently developing iOS 7.1, the first significant update to iOS 7. It's largely expected to release in less than a month.
Unlike iOS 7, iOS 7.1 will not be a completely new OS update. It therefore won't roll out with any mind-blowing features, though it will supposedly bring a ton of user-interface tweaks, visual enhancements, and performance fixes.
Apart from all the speculation though, there are iOS 7.1 beta release notes available with clues as to what we can expect. Each beta has revealed a number of improvements, all of which will presumably land in the final software update for iOS users.
Pocket-lint has therefore combed through all of the dev-speak and compiled a list of the best bits below. Check it out.
Apple has released five betas of iOS 7.1, so far. The fifth beta released on 4 February with a build number of 11D5145e. Developers can grab the beta via an over-the-air update or through Apple's developer center website.
(Keep in mind that the changes featured in betas might not actually make it to the final iOS 7.1 release.)
A recent report from 9to5Mac claimed iOS 7.1 will release to all iOS users in March. There's even a rumour that Apple could unveil iOS 7.1 at a media event centered around the next-generation Apple TV.
According to all the betas, the final version of iOS 7.1 will likely feature visual changes to the slide-to-unlock functions, as well as the phone, dialer, music, and keyboard.
Slide to power off/slide to unlock
When you slide to power off your iPhone, you will no longer see a prominent red rectangle at the top. Instead, with iOS 7.1, you will see an oblonged-shaped white slider at the top. There will also be a circular white cancel button toward the bottom of your iPhone's screen.
As for slide to unlock, the animation appears a bit brighter and slower with iOS 7.1 Watch the video above for a closer look.
Similar to the slide-to-whatever functions, Apple has removed the red and green rectangle buttons for declining and answering calls, respectively.
Thanks to iOS 7.1, when someone calls you, your iPhone will now display two circular red and green buttons. And above those circles you'll see two floating icons for Remind Me and Message (rather than two white rectangles).
Apple changed the dialer in iOS 7.1 to mirror the visual changes of the Phone app. That means the large green rectangle is gone, and you'll now see a circular green button for sending a call. The entire keypad also appears more vibrant with subtle colour gradients in the background.
Finally, an option to add a contact when entering a number has been changed. You now have to tap the + symbol next to the number. Apple appears to have removed the Add to Contacts line altogether.
The Music app in iOS 7.1 has more prominent Shuffle All and Repeat buttons. Strangely, Apple removed their invisible backgrounds from iOS 7. They are now pinkish-red rectangle buttons.
Apple has given the Shift and Delete keys a bolder look and prominent and individual shape.
The company likely made this minor changed because many iDevice owners complained that the keyboard in iOS 7 lacked definition. Individual keys were apparently diffucult to accurantely tap.
According to all the betas, the final version of iOS 7.1 will likely bring a few features, including: iOS in the Car, a toggle for wallpaper motions, and more natural-sounding Siri voices.
iOS in the Car
Apple's iOS in the Car feature will allegedly debut in iOS 7.1. The company originally unveiled this feature at WWDC 2013, emphasising that it would provide enhanced iOS integration in compatible automobiles.
Based on the betas, Apple has changed the look of iOS in the Car quite a bit. You can see a safety warning screen in the video below, for instance, as well as notices for direction traveling, LTE signal, etc. Apple also included a Car Display toggle in the Restrictions Settings panel.
With iOS in the Car, you'll be able to connect your iOS devices to a compatible car to access maps, directions, messages, and more. The feature, which is considered an accessibility feature, will display all iOS content on a vehicle's navigational screen.
Apple's iOS in the Car system is supposed to land in several vehicles in 2014.
Apple introduced a parallax (or motion effect) in iOS 7, as well as a way to reduce it under Settings. Although the effect seemed cool to many, some users said it evoked motion sickness for them.
Apple has therefore provided an option to turn it off completely in iOS 7.1. When switching to a new background, you'll see a toggle to turn motion on or off.
Natural-sounding Siri voices
According to release notes from the fourth beta, there is a new Siri voice on the iPad for UK users. The fifth beta expanded on this by introducing more natural-sounding Siri voices.
English Siri in the UK and Australia have been improved, as well as Japanese and Mandarin. Check out Apple Insider to hear examples of the new and improved Siri voices.
According to release notes from all the betas, you will see many minor adjustments in iOS 7.1.
First up, as detailed in the first beta, there is a revamped Yahoo logo in iOS 7.1, as well as new burst mode upload options. Release notes from the second beta revealed Apple has moved Touch ID and Passcodes settings from General settings to the main settings menu in iOS 7.1.
Calendar also has a new list view toggle in iOS 7.1, while the Control Center received a new bounce animation and music labels for audio source. The animations for both Messages and Control Center are said to have bouncier animnations as well.
As for the release notes from the third beta, Apple added a new option in the Accessibility's Contrast menu. It allows users to reduce iOS 7's white point. In addition, Apple gave the Phone, FaceTime, and Messages app icons slightly darker colours.
Apple has confirmed it is working on a fix for the reboots and 'white screen of death' crashes that many users experienced with iOS 7. This fix is expected to come with iOS 7.1.
Although the problem has mostly affected iPhone 5S users, some iPad mini with Retina and iPad Air owners have reported issues too.