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iOS 7.1 update now available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

The Apple iOS 7.1 update we recently mentioned has just arrived today – We kept checking our phones with no joy until just a moment ago. It seems that the iOS 7.1 update is not needed to run the streaming app for Apple’s iTunes festival that kicks off tomorrow, after all. Nonetheless it is good to see the update arriving in the nick of time so that the annoying crashing bug brought in with iOS 7 can be addressed and finally stop making my phone the most annoying thing I own. The update, in Apple’s words includes the below features and improvements:

CarPlay – iOS experience designed for the car

  • Simply connect your iPhone to a CarPlay-enabled vehicle
  • Supports Phone, Music, Maps, Messages and third-party audio apps
  • Control with Siri and the car’s touchscreen, knobs and button


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 favourite 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 colours 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

As we have previously written, all beta testing associated with this update was believed to be completed recently and all signs pointed to the update being released this month. This is an update that Apple has been stalling for some time now – initially it was expected sometime after January to fix the bugs that plague iOS 7.

The good news is that because the iTune Festival app works on  iOS 7 as well as 7.1 we can enjoy the festival for free in the comfort of our own armchairs (or at work when no one’s looking, or on the bus, or wherever you are). There is a great line up of musicians and it’s great news that it is not just reserved for those attending the SXSW showcase in Austin, Texas. Of course, the showcase schedule is written in Texas local time so it is worth bearing that in mind if you’re tuning in. If you’re tuning in via Apple TV you will see the new dedicated channel so you can watch the live streams and these streams will only be available for a limited time so make sure you don’t miss out!

So, stop swearing at your iPhone for a bit; do the update and enjoy some music instead. But remember, the update file is 1.9GB, so you might need to make room by deleting some of those old apps you don’t play and probably some movies and music, too.

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