Apple has released iOS 7.1 for the iPhone and iPad, adding new features, bug fixes, and interface tweaks to all supported devices.

ios 7.1 1024x767 Apple releases iOS 7.1, visual tweaks and new features in tow

After a lengthy beta testing period, the first major point release of iOS has begun making its way to the iPhone and iPad, sized at around 250 MB for devices that are updating from iOS 7.0.6.

iOS 7.1 introduces CarPlay, previously as iOS in the Car, which allows iPhone users to connect their device to a CarPlay-enabled vehicle for accessing hands-free functionality like incoming calls, dictating text messages, controlling music, and navigation using Siri voice control and a car’s touchscreen and buttons. Siri has been updated as well, with a new ability that allows a user to manually control the duration for which Siri listens to voice input, and more natural sounding voices for Mandarin Chinese, UK English, Australian English, and Japanese.

The update also fixes issues that have plagued newer devices like the iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and iPad mini with Retina display. TouchID fingerprint recognition has been tweaked to be faster and more accurate, and random reboots that users have been suffering since iOS 7 should be fixed as well (hopefully, 7.1 won’t introduce this issue for devices previously unaffected.) Accessibility has been improved, with options to display button shapes, darken app colors, and reduce motion in animations in various parts of the OS.

Bringing up the rear are tweaks to the user interface, such as addition of a Buy button in iTunes Radio on the Now Playing screen, option to display events in the Calendar’s month view, bolder fonts in multiple apps, new bounce animations in Control Center, and other changes that refine the look and feel of what is iOS’ biggest UI overhaul in years.

iOS 7.1 likely patches all known jailbreak exploits as well, so those wishing to use their favorite jailbreak tweaks should refrain from hitting the update button. But for everyone else, iOS 7.1 is available immediately through the Settings » General » Software update menu on their iPhone/iPad, while a full changelog can be found below.

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

Other

  • 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