CNET – Apple on Monday released an update to its iOS 7 mobile operating system — iOS 7.1 — that adds new features such as CarPlay and fixes bugs.
With iOS 7.1, Apple also tweaked its Siri voice assistant, iTunes Radio, and its Touch ID fingerprint sensor. The company streamlined the operating system to make it work better with the iPhone 4, made some user interface refinements, and included some stability and accessibility improvements.
The update is available immediately, and the Apple devices will alert users about it over the next week.
iOS 7.1 marks the first major update following Apple’s release of iOS 7 about six months ago. Apple initially unveiled iOS 7 at its developer conference in June of last year and released the operating system in September. The software underwent a complete design overhaul, with everything from the typography and color schemes getting an update. iOS 7 also added useful features like automatic updates to make everyday use easier, AirDrop, and iTunes Radio, as well as a new control center that gives quick access to most-used features. Since the introduction of iOS 7, Apple had released five beta updates of iOS 7.1 to developers.
About 83 percent of Apple device users have downloaded iOS 7, Apple said. The operating system won’t run on the original iPad from 2010 and any iPhones older than the iPhone 4.
Apple streamlined functions in iOS 7.1 to make the experience faster for iPhone 4 users, which have a much less advanced chip than Apple’s newest phones and tablets.
With iOS 7, Siri recognized that a user was done talking because the person paused for a couple of seconds. Now, users can hold down the home button the entire time they’re talking to Siri. Once they lift their finger, Siri knows they’re done talking. Both ways of interacting are available in iOS 7.1. Apple also included new male and female voices for Mandarin Chinese, British English, Australian English, and Japanese.
iTunes Radio also got some tweaks. There’s a new search field that allows users to create stations based on their favorite songs or artists. Users can buy albums with a single tap from iTunes Radio, rather than only buying singles. And for the first time, users can now subscribe to iTunes Match from their mobile devices rather than from the desktop.
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