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Monday, March 10, 2014, 10:00 am PT (01:00 pm ET)

Apple releases iOS 7.1 with CarPlay support, Siri and Touch ID improvements

Apple on Monday released iOS 7.1, the most significant update to its mobile platform in six months, featuring tweaks to the user interface introduced in iOS 7, fixes for lingering bugs, and new features such as support for the new CarPlay infotainment center.




The newly released iOS 7.1 is identified as build 11D167. As first revealed by AppleInsider last month, the update is said to improve Touch ID fingerprint recognition for iPhone 5s users.

iOS 7.1 also includes a new manual setting for Siri, allowing users to hold the home button on their device to have the system listen, and let go when they are done speaking, as opposed to having Siri automatically detect when a user has finished speaking. The update also allows users to subscribe to iTunes Match directly from their device, allowing for ad-free listening to iTunes Radio.

Owners of the iPhone 4 should also see improved performance with iOS 7.1, while those who buy a compatible vehicle will be able to take advantage of CarPlay. Events can also be displayed in month view, iPhone 5s users can have the camera automatically enable HDR photos, and FaceTime call notifications are now synced across devices through iCloud.

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Pre-release versions of iOS 7 have been supplied to developers for testing since last November, making it a particularly lengthy beta period. A mid-March release for iOS 7.1 has been expected for some time.

Release notes accompanying the update state that it includes "improvements and bug fixes." According to Apple, those are:

  • CarPlay
    • iOS experience designed for the car
    • Simply connect your iPhone to a CarPlay enabled vehicle
    • Supports Phone, Music, Maps, Messages, and 3rd-party audio apps
    • Control with Siri and the car's touchscreen, knobs, and buttons

  • Siri
    • Manually control when Siri listens by holding down the home button while you speak and releasing it when you're done as an alternative to letting Siri automatically notice when you stop talking
    • New, more natural sounding male and female voices for Mandarin Chinese, UK English, Australian English, and Japanese

  • iTunes Radio
    • Search field above Featured Stations to easily create stations based on your favorite artist or song
    • Buy albums with the tap of a button from Now Playing
    • Subscribe to iTunes Match on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to enjoy iTunes Radio ad-free

  • Calendar
    • Option to display events in month view
      Country specific holidays automatically added for many countries

  • Accessibility
    • Bold font option now includes the keyboard, calculator, and many icon glyphs
    • Reduce Motion option now includes Weather, Messages, and multitasking UI animations
    • New options to display button shapes, darken app colors, and reduce white point

  • New Camera setting to automatically enable HDR for iPhone 5s
  • iCloud Keychain support in additional countries
  • FaceTime call notifications are automatically cleared when you answer a call on another device
  • Fixes a bug that could occasionally cause a home screen crash
  • Improves Touch ID fingerprint recognition
  • Improved performance for iPhone 4
  • Fixes display of Mail unread badge for numbers greater than 10,000
  • Continued user interface refinements