iOS 7.1: what’s new?

Apple has released iOS 7.1, a minor update for iPad and iPhone devices.

Although the list of changes spans a couple of screens on the iPhone, most of the changes are either minor cosmetic tweaks or under the hood. Indeed, in the first five minutes after installation you’ll be playing spot the difference.

Perhaps the biggest change is one that you hopefully won’t notice from now on: Apple claims to have fixed a bug that sparked random reboots of iPhone 5s, iPad mini and iPad Air devices under iOS 7.

Apple also claims to have improved performance on the two oldest devices supported by iOS 7.1: the iPhone 4 and iPad 2. We’ve noted stuttering performance on an iPad 2 running iOS 7 in the past, and will report back on any performance improvements once we’ve had time to test the new update thoroughly.

Among a host of minor UI tweaks are new designs for the screens displayed when powering down the device and receiving an incoming call, neither of which add anything of note.

The monthly Calendar view now has a tray mode, so that you can see details of that day’s appointments, not just the dot indicating that something is in the diary for that day.

iOS 7.1 Calendar

A new camera setting lets iPhone 5s owners automatically invoke HDR mode, while Apple claims improvements have been made to the Touch ID fingerprint-recognition system on that handset.

Also listed on the roster of new features is support for CarPlay, Apple’s new in-car interface. However, that first requires the release of vehicles that actually support the system, so file that one under “one for the future”.

In short, there’s nothing remotely earth-shattering in iOS 7.1, but after the upheaval of the move to iOS 7, that isn’t a bad thing.

Note that iOS 7.1 is a 154MB download and requires 1.6GB of free space on the device before it will install (figures for iPad 2, other devices may vary).

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