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Apple releases iOS 7.1 with CarPlay support, Siri tweaks, crash bug fix, and more

Apple on Monday released an update for its mobile operating system on iDevices, the first of any significance since iOS 7’s debut six months ago.

iOS 7.1 brings with it a number of new features, design changes, improvements, and bug fixes, one of which puts to bed the random reboot issue that’s been frustrating many users in recent months.

First up, the updated mobile OS brings support for Apple CarPlay, previously known as iOS in the Car.

This takes the tech giant into new territory as it seeks to gain a foothold in the in-car infotainment market. The CarPlay system links an iPhone 5S, 5C or 5 with a car’s built-in display, allowing the driver to more comfortably control a range of apps, with Siri playing a prominent role allowing you to keep your eyes on the road.

The system is available now with select models from Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo, with more manufacturers to follow.

Users of iTunes Radio can now more quickly search within featured stations and create new ones based on a particular track or artist. You can also now subscribe to iTunes Match direct from your iDevice instead of via a desktop. A Match subscription, which costs $25 a year, removes ads from iTunes Radio and offers cloud storage for all your music, which you can access across all your Apple devices.

Siri changes

If you’re a Siri user, you can now maintain the attention of your virtual assistant by keeping the device’s ‘home’ button pressed until you’ve finished saying what you want to say. Siri likes to jump in when it thinks you’re done, but this new feature ensures you’ll be the one in control.

If you’re in the UK, you’ll notice Siri has a new voice which sounds a little less formal than what went before. Users in China (Mandarin), Australia, and Japan will also notice a new voice for Siri, which Apple claims to be “more natural sounding.”

Calendars now lets you display events in month view, and country-specific holidays have been added for a number of countries.

According to Apple, iOS 7.1 also brings with it improved performance for iPhone 4 users, improved Touch ID fingerprint recognition, and a new camera setting for the iPhone 5S that allows you to automatically enable the HDR feature.

Some subtle changes to the design of the user interface and new accessibility functionality pretty much wraps up the update, which is available now for the iPhone 4 or later, the iPad 2 or later, the iPad Mini or later, and the iPod Touch (5th generation).

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