How To: Everything You Need to Know About Apple's iOS 7.1 for iPad, iPhone, & iPod Touch

Everything You Need to Know About Apple's iOS 7.1 for iPad, iPhone, & iPod Touch

After many beta builds, Apple has finally released iOS 7.1 to the public. It includes bug fixes for the old iOS 7.0.6, along with UI enhancements and even some new features.

If you haven't gotten around to playing with iOS 7.1 yet, here are a few of the new features and improvements to look forward to.

CarPlay Integration

The biggest feature added to iOS 7 is definitely CarPlay, which lets you use your iPhone on your car's built-in display (if you have one), making it safe to find directions, send and receive calls and text messages, control your music, and more.

Currently only available for later 2014 models of Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo, CarPlay will support many built-in Apple features as well as third-party apps such as Spotify, Beats Music, and more.

New Circular Button Shapes

Apple has scrapped the rectangular call and end buttons for circular ones—matching the numbers and other options in the phone dialer. There's also less obtrusive "Remind Me" and "Message" buttons.

Images via wonderhowto.com

The icons when powering off your device are also rounded.

Image via wonderhowto.com

Siri's Got Some Cool New Features

In addition to more a natural sounding Siri with enhanced English (Australia, United Kingdom), Chinese (Mandarin - China), and Japanese voices, you now have manual control over Siri's listening.

Image via wonderhowto.com

All you have to do is hold down the Home button while you speak and release it when you're done, instead of having Siri determine when you finish talking. It's much more efficient, if you don't mind the extra button holding, but you can do it either way now.

iTunes Radio's Improvements

iTunes Radio has had a few UI changes, including the much-needed search field above Featured Stations, making it easy to create stations from your preferred artists or songs. From the Now Playing page, you can also purchase the song, as well as the album from which the song comes.

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If you subscribe to iTunes Match on your iOS device, you can enjoy iTunes Radio without advertisements.

Shuffle Through Songs in Specific Genres

One feature in iOS 7.1 that has been slightly overlooked is the ability to shuffle songs by genre, allowing us to play similar music without having to create a hip-hop or indie rock playlist.

Wallpaper Zooming Issues Are Patched

Annoying to many, previous versions of iOS 7 automatically zoomed in on custom wallpapers due to the parallax effect. Thankfully this issue has been (sorta) fixed in the final version of iOS 7.1—just set your wallpaper and toggle "Perspective Zoom" on or off.

There will still be a slight zoom effect on the lock screen when you turn your screen on and off, but it's still better control over the zooming problem when actually setting the wallpaper.

The Keyboard Has a Few Better Buttons

The Shift and Delete keys have both been redesigned. They are both black now with a white background to show that they're enabled.

Image via wonderhowto.com

Unfortunately, they did not include the dark keyboard version from older iOS 7.1 betas. Maybe next time.

Automatic Flash/HDR Indicator in the Camera

A small yellow indicator now appears at the bottom of the screen, letting us know whether or not automatic flash or automatic HDR (only for iPhone 5S) is on or off before we take a shot.

Images via wonderhowto.com

Button Shapes, Dark Colors, & Bold Keyboard Text

There's now an option to show button shapes in the Accessibility menu in Settings, and the bold option for text now applies to the calculator, keyboard, and many other icon fonts. Plus, there's new options in the "Increase Contrast" menu to let you darken app colors and reduce the white point.

Image via wonderhowto.com

Apple also added Weather, Messages, and some multitasking animations to the list of things you can "Reduce Motion" for in the Accessibility options.

Calendar's Easier Navigation (Plus, Holidays)

A button to toggle list view in the Calendar app now appears, making events of that day, week, and month appear much more easily. You'll also notice that many holidays have been added, all specific to what country you live in.

What Else Is New to iOS 7.1

Aside from the above features, Apple has added iCloud Keychain support for more countries, fixed the home screen crash bug, and fixed an issue with numbers higher than 10,000 in the badge app icon for Mail. Also, FaceTime call notifications are all automatically cleared now when the call is answered on another device.

More device specific, iOS 7.1 improves fingerprint recognition for the iPhone 5S and overall performance on the iPhone 4.

To see how the public version of iOS 7.1 came to be, check out our past coverage of Beta 1, Beta 2, Beta 3, Beta 4, and Beta 5.

Final Thoughts About iOS 7.1

All in all, the improvements have made the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch a bit easier to use, as well as slightly quicker. While some may be disappointed with the lack of new features, iOS 7.1 was meant more as a big fixer and polisher for the interface.

So what do you guys think about it? Hate it? Love it? Don't care?

28 Comments

is it ok to update to 7.1 from 7.0.6 if you have unlocked the country lock?

yeah sure. totally fine.
Unless yer jailbroken.

i don't personally like this new update I have found that now my phone freezes and I cant get half of my apps to work I have shut down and restarted my phone twice and it still does the same thing im getting rather annoyed

I'm having the same problem! You are the only post online I could find having the same issue.

Annette I found a fix for this. Go into your settings. Go into the keyboard. Turn off everything for the keyboard. Go back to general. Click down at the bottom on reset and select Reset Keyboard Dictionary. This worked for me, hope it does for you ;0)

I agree with Annette Briscoe. After the update my iPhone 5s keyboard refuses to work properly. It is horrible!

I HATE this update and wish I could turn back time... The main thing is the screen when I'm getting a call. Used to show a huge picture of the person calling and nice large rectangles for Accept or Decline. Now tiny picture in the upper right corner and tiny Accept or Decline buttons.

It's a huge deal to me and I hate it.

Yea crazy to me that they would do that. It looked gorgeous before, now it's just so much wasted space.

yes i agree u they wasted so much of space.

also, this perspective zoom confuses things on the ipad mini atleast. my wallpapers looked very good with ios 6 and not so bad with ios 7.0.x but with 7.1 they look too zoomed in. even with perspective zoom turned off its like ios has to compulsively zoom into at-least some part of the picture. this continues with reduced motion turned on.

FB locked up so bad I had to delete and reinstall it. Also, is there a way to get rid of these holidays? Been trying to without success. I can't even hide them.

Does anybody have a problem with the darker area on the top of the home screen, its been bothering me quite a bit and I was wondering if anybody knows how to fix it.

I do! I think it's horrible and I don't understand the point of the darker band at the top of the home screen.

How do I close my apps with this new 7.1 version? Technophobe here...

Double tap the home button. Swipe any app up to close it. On an iPad, you can double-tap the home button or swipe four fingers up from the bottom of the screen.

Well I called apple and I have to bring my IPAD in because it will not work doing that. It was fine in closing them until I upgradeed to 7.1. Now I have to go to the store cuz they said theres a problem. So tha ks anyways.

I have an iPad mini. Is it just me or has anybody else had an issue with orientation? My orientation is NOT locked and I turn my iPad sideways (just did) and, where in the past the screen would go landscape, it doesn't now. I've noticed this on the home screen and on safari. If anybody knows what's up, I'd love to hear.

I upgraded to ios 7.1 and now i cant install or update any apps from app store .what should i do ? Please help me

None of my calls or texts are showing on my locked screen. They are set properly in my notifications but still doesn't work. Anyone else have this problem?

I upgrade my ios7.04 to 7.1 and now I can't jailbreak. why?

Because untethered jailbreak for ios 7.1 is not yet released buddy.

should I update my iPad 3 to ios7.1
presently it's running on iOS 5.1.1

Overall I like the new update. I love the larger round numbers on the phone, I have the 5s. I am having an awful time trying to make new playlists. I did not have trouble with this before. I am trying to do it on my iPad 2. Everything else works fine.

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