A couple of weeks ago Apple launched the iOS 7.1 update. This is the newest addition to the iOS universe bringing with it a number of new features and design updates.
Apple focused on changing the remaining square controls to circular ones. Slide to power off screen, dial and phone call screen controls are just a few to mention. The typical iOS communication APP Icons have changed to a darker tone and the contrasts, especially viewing the new keyboard colors, are stronger.
The biggest new feature is the CarPlay integration. Currently the use of the CarPlay API is private and thus restricted to Apple’s own applications (e.g. Apple Maps) but it is possible that Apple will open up this Framework to the public in future releases. The same thing happened with AirPlay, which gives users a second bigger screen just to view content. A racing game for example, uses the controls on the iPhone and shows the canvas on the TV. The restriction of only having a second screen is not present with CarPlay as we have another touchscreen that offers the possibility of controlling the apps. This is a strong tool which enables our clients to connect with their consumers and customers in a different way- apps can not only show information such as notifications, but controlling an app via the screen and playing media can be a powerful instrument for engagement. Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari demonstrated this integration at the Geneva Motor Show, with the first vehicles supporting the technology available later this year.
Note that we expect Google, Microsoft and Blackberry to all launch CarPlay-like OS features in the near future.
- More voices for Siri including Mandarin Chinese, UK English, Australian English, and Japanese. Apple updated to more realistic and smoother voices for the new iOS release.
- For iTunes Radio there is a new search field for starting a new station, and it is now possible to buy an album directly from the iTunes Radio track playing.
- The iPhone 5S gains a new smart HDR mode which automatically turns on the high dynamic range feature by analyzing the scene. This will enhance pictures in situations with challenging light availability.
- Improved performance for iPhone 4 devices running iOS7
What does this update mean for you?
The biggest news is CarPlay which could be interesting for any brand or start-up that want to offer their services in-car. Secondly we believe that many people that have not upgraded their iPhone 4 to iOS7 will now choose to do so as the performance and battery life have greatly improved.
The iOS 7.1 adoption rate was 28% 96 hours after the release whereas for iOS 7.0 the rate was 46% in the same time frame, indicating a much slower adoption rate this time round. The reason for this however, is most likely linked to there being less publicity around the news, as well as Apple preferring the update to be more evenly distributed to avoid server congestion.
The next big iOS announcement (iOS8) will be at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June.