(Pocket-lint) - Apple has released iOS 7.1 for the iPhone and iPad and we've been tracking the changes to the new update since they first started appearing in the betas for developers to test.
Unlike iOS 7, iOS 7.1 is not be a completely new OS update. It therefore isn't rolling out with any mind-blowing features, though it does bring a ton of user-interface tweaks, visual enhancements and performance fixes.
Key to the new update are CarPlay, changes to Siri, iTunes Radio, Calendar, some accessibility changes, and smaller tweaks like FaceTime call notifications are automatically cleared when you answer a call on another device.
Apple has just published an entire page dedicated to spelling out the changes and features buried within iOS 7.1. In fact, the page starts off with the following description:
"iOS 7.1 is packed with interface refinements, bug fixes, improvements, and new features. Apple CarPlay introduces a better way to use iPhone while driving. And you can now control exactly how long Siri listens and more. Getting the update is easy. Go to Settings. Select General. And tap Software Update."
We will be updating this article as we find new tweaks. If you spot any yourself please let us know in the comments below.
iOS 7.1 features visual changes to the slide-to-unlock functions, as well as the phone, dialer, music, and keyboard. The weather icons are also filled in now in the weather app giving them a decidedly more BBC weather feeling to them.
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 with a power symbol very similar to the Pocket-lint logo [natch]. 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 has changed the dialler 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 difficult to accurately tap.
iOS 7.1 brings a few new features, some that you won't even be able to benefit from yet, including: CarPlay (previously known as iOS in the Car), a toggle for wallpaper motions, and more natural-sounding Siri voices.
Apple's CarPlay compatibility feature has debuted in iOS 7.1. CarPlay enables you 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.
The company originally teased CarPlay at WWDC 2013, emphasising that it would provide enhanced iOS integration in compatible automobiles. However Apple has changed the look of CarPlay quite a bit since then. The betas, for instance, showed a safety warning screen, as well as notices for direction traveling, LTE signal, etc. Apple also included a Car Display toggle in the Restrictions Settings panel.
Apple officially debuted its CarPlay system in early March - ahead of iOS 7.1's release - and said the feature would appear in several vehicles throughout 2014. Check out Pocket-lint's hands-on review of the service for more details on what the infotainment system includes.
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
There is now new voice options for Siri, especially in the UK where the voice is a lot more calmer and less harsh in tone - it is trying to be your friend rather than a school teacher. 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.
Camera and extras
There are other minor amendments and changes including a new HDR auto mode and improvements to the Burst mode. TouchID has also been improved as well as FaceTime call notifications are now automatically cleared when you answer a call on another device.
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 have bouncier animnations as well.
Performance and stability
Since using the new 7.1 update we've noticed that the iPhone is now considerably zippier, especially the iPhone 4, something Apple highlights in its release notes for the update. Apps are loading a lot faster.