Although Apple hasn’t yet confirmed an official final release date for iOS 7.1, the company has now issued ithe fourth beta version of the OS update, Judging from the four betas out there already, it looks like iOS 7.1 will bring better performance, in addition to new features that include a new keyboard, a new voice for Siri, a new UI for the Phone app, “iOS in the car,” and more.
iOS 7.1 is anticipated as the release that will prepare users for iOS 8, which is rumored to arrive later this year alongside the purported iPad Air 2 and iPad Pro. Sources suggest that the iOS 7.1 release will be available in March, but this has not been confirmed.
iOS 7.1 beta testers have reported improved performance, with faster app animations and multitasking. Users can also expect to see new design elements and redesigned apps. Read on for specific details.
Beta testers reported bug fixes and performance improvements with the first beta release, as well as enhanced animations. A new keyboard was also made available, with the option to change it to black instead of being limited to white. Minor updates to the notification center, weather app, and camera app were also reported.
Beta 2: New Voice for Siri
The second beta version brought new features that included a voice memos app as well as updated Nike+ compatible apps. It also introduced even faster performance, as well as a new voice for Siri that will apparently give the virtual assistant a more realistic feel. Users can also expect updates to the calendar app list view and control center animations, along with updated fonts across the operating system.
Beta 3: New UI for Phone App
As revealed by the third beta release, the phone app in iOS 7.1 will feature circular buttons to accept or decline a call, and the full screen images of the caller will be replaced with a circular icon next to the caller’s name. Beta testers also reported that Apple reduced the motion effects and added the ability to turn the parallax effect on or off when setting wallpapers, rather than within the settings. The third beta release also brought fixes to a number of bugs including one that affected users when setting up an iCloud account and playing audiobooks in the Music app.
Beta 4: Performance, iOS in the Car
The fourth beta release of iOS 7.1 focuses more on the performance of iOS, rather than the user interface. The beta releases have also pointed to a new feature dubbed iOS in the Car, which will allow users to integrate their iOS system with their built-in dashboard display. Apple announced this feature at its WWDC conference in 2013, naming a few compatible car companies including Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, Chevrolet, Infinity, Kia, Hyundai, Volvo, Acura, Opel, and Jaguar. It seems that users can expect this feature to arrive alongside the final release of iOS 7.1.
The final iOS 7.1 software update will also fix bugs that users have experienced since upgrading to iOS 7, including the “white and black screen of death,” which causes users’ iPads and iPhones to reboot. Other issues that will be addressed include iPad lag with older models as well as Safari crashes, which users have reported since upgrading to iOS 7.
Sources believe we will see two more beta versions of iOS 7.1 before the final March release date.