Today, Apple released the latest version of its mobile operating system, iOS 7.1, with bug fixes and several new features.
The most prominent addition to this version is the new CarPlay, the “Best iPhone Experience on Four Wheels,” that Apple unveiled in Geneva last week. This new feature integrates with your vehicle’s computer interface and allows a hands-free and eyes-free smartphone/driving experience.
“CarPlay has been designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car,” said Greg Joswiak, vice president of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing. “iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction. We have an amazing lineup of auto partners rolling out CarPlay and we’re thrilled it will make its debut this week in Geneva.”
CarPlay will also use information in your email and messaging to help with navigation, trying to anticipate trips.
“CarPlay makes driving directions more intuitive by working with Maps to anticipate destinations based on recent trips via contacts, emails or texts and provides routing instructions, traffic conditions and ETA,” Apple continued. “You can also simply ask Siri and receive spoken turn-by-turn directions, along with Maps, which will appear on your car’s built-in display.”
Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari are pushing CarPlay into new vehicles. According to Apple, it will be also added to a whole slew of new models from most major auto manufacturers sometime this year, although exact details of the rollout were not clear.
The new version of iOS also includes tweaks to Siri, Apple’s beloved/notorious digital assistant, as well as the new Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the latest iPhones. This version was also tailored to work better with the iPhone 4, released several years ago but still available as the cheapest iPhone in the Apple Store.
Cupertino completely changed up their software when they released iOS 7 last year, tweaking everything from the design (they made it flatter) to adding features like iTunes Radio.
According to the company, 83 percent of mobile device owners have updated to iOS 7.
The update is available right now and Apple says your devices will start reminding you about the update starting next week.
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