I’m back! Sorry, I tend to write a couple of posts at a time then stop for a while. I’d like to talk about iOS 7.1. It’s been out for one month now and I’d just like cast my opinions on what I think is one of Apple’s best updates. Firstly though, I am going to write about all of the changes within iOS 7.1 and then I’ll cast my opinions on iOS 7.1 towards the end.
Below is a list of what iOS 7.1 includes.
- Much-needed performance improvements
- UI changes
- CarPlay support
- Improved Touch ID recognition
- Improved performance for iPhone 4
What follows are my opinions on each of the improvements/fixes.
I must talk about springboard crashes first as they were, by far, the worst thing about iOS 7.0. I was getting 5-7 crashes per week, now, to-date, I’ve not had one! That’s impressive. There was obviously a memory leak within the OS which has now been fixed.
Much-needed Performance Improvements
I’ve found that on my iPhone 5s it runs a lot faster overall which is great. It’s still not as fast as iOS 6.0 but it’s faster than iOS 7.0 and that’s enough for me. You expect an OS to be as good as it’s predecessor when it was built from scratch? It’s only been out for six months!
We’ve a new Power Off UI. This is irrelevant for me as I never turn my iPhone off but it’s an improvement over the previous one. Button Shapes are also new. Confused to whether floating text in iOS 7.0 is a button or not? Now in Accessibility settings, you can enable Button Shapes, this does exactly what it says, adds shapes around buttons! The majority of buttons will now have a grey shading while text will be underlined.
The Calendar app has also had a nice feature added, or should I say, re-added. We had this feature in iOS 6.0 but for some reason in iOS 7.0 they removed it, List View is back in iOS 7.1! You can toggle this setting next to the search button to see the list view of your activities for the day ahead while the calendar remains in view. Control Center has also been improved a little. There is more of a bounce animation when you pull up to view Control Center and the audio section now displays which app is currently playing sound.
A small addition to the Weather app. Now the Weather icons have been filled in with colour, previously, the icons were outlined with no fill colour. Improved contrasts next. There’s another new Accessibility option, Darken Colours. Enabling this option darkens the dock and folder and removes transparency. Next, we have a new caller dialer and phone buttons. When someone calls you, the green phone icon will transform and rotate into a red phone icon.
There’s more! You can now disable the Parallax effect on either the Home Screen or the Lock Screen. The keyboard has a heavier contrast and the delete and shift keys have been redefined to make it more clearer if the shift button is enabled. Apple’s green icons (Phone, Messages and FaceTime) have been made a tad darker. Finally, the buttons in the Music app have changed colour. I told you there was a lot!
CarPlay, you could say, is the biggest feature of iOS 7.1. You might have known it as iOS in the Car. CarPlay is an iOS vehicle integration feature. CarPlay allows an iPhone to take control of a dashboard within the car. Siri is used to make calls, send messages and play music. The only bad thing? You’ll need a brand new car, which will be expensive. Vehicles from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo have CarPlay as an option for customers with BMW, Ford and Jaguar vehicles will be coming soon.
Improved Touch ID Recognition
This section will be short and sweet. As you probably know, Touch ID is exclusive to the iPhone 5s. In iOS 7.0 people were complaining that it simply wouldn’t read their fingerprint and would sometimes actually forget the print that they registered. For me, this was never an issue. In iOS 7.1, Touch ID reads your fingerprint a lot faster. Sometimes I take my iPhone out of my pocket, apply my finger to the Home button and before I look at the screen, it’s unlocked!
Improved Performance for iPhone 4
Unfortunately, I can’t cast my opinion on this as I don’t have an iPhone 4 but from what I’ve heard, iOS 7 has improved a lot. That’s it! That’s most of the changes that iOS 7.1 entails.
My Opinion on iOS 7.1 and iOS 8 Predictions
As I mentioned at the top of the post, I think iOS 7.1 is one of Apple’s best updates. It does vary per device as some people are still experiencing springboard crashes but I’ve had no crashes so far and I use my iPhone a lot. Animations are faster and smoother and for me, they are the right speed now. iOS 7.1 is what iOS 7 should have been, it’s as simple as that. In iOS 8, expect a lot more refining, speed and reliability improvements. I don’t think we’ll see a lot of visual changes in iOS 8. I think Apple will release a new health and fitness app that will go with the iWatch that’s expected to be revealed later this year. There are also talks that Notification Center will undergo a few changes.