Apple releases iOS 7.1 with CarPlay support, UI changes, bug fixes

iOS 7.1

Apple on Monday released iOS 7.1, the biggest update to iOS 7 since the mobile OS was first released last September. It includes support for CarPlay, fixes the random reboots many users were experiencing, and includes a number of other changes like performance improvements and UI tweaks.

Apple first introduced CarPlay back at WWDC last year under the name “iOS in the Car.” Now that it’s here, it allows you to connect your iPhone to a CarPlay-enabled vehicle to get an iOS experience designed for the car. It allows you to make and answer calls, and use Maps, Messages, Music and other third-party audio apps. You control it by voice via Siri, and through your car’s touch display and controls.

ios 7.1 changes

Apple also fixed the bug that was causing many devices running iOS 7 to randomly reboot from the home screen (my iPhone 5s included). Other improvements include better Touch ID fingerprint recognition, as well as an overall performance boost for the iPhone 4.

There are some visual changes you’ll notice as well. The phone dialer, power off, and incoming call screens have all been tweaked. The dialer and power screens use new rounded UI elements and the incoming call interface features distinct accept and decline buttons. The delete and shift keys on the keyboard are easier to see across as well.

iTunes Radio now lets you search within featured stations to more easily create stations based on an artist or a song you like. And you can buy an album with the tap of a button from Now Playing. This also marks the first time you can subscribe to iTunes Match directly from your device (which allows you to listen to iTunes Radio ad-free) rather than through iTunes on the desktop.

Siri has been tweaked as well. You can manually control exactly how long Siri listens by holding the home button down while you speak and releasing it when you’re done, rather than letting Siri determine automatically. There are also new, more natural sounding voices for a number of languages.

These are just some of the changes in the update. You can view a full list in the change log before installing it. To install, simply tap Settings > General > Software Update on your device.

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