iOS 7.1: What's new in the latest iPhone, iPad software?

Apple today launched iOS 7.1, the first major update to the iOS 7 mobile operating system. 

By , Correspondent

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    Screenshots from iOS 7.1, the new Apple mobile operating system released today.
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Apple has rolled out the first major update to its iOS 7 mobile operating system. 

iOS 7.1, which is live as of this morning, includes a handful of minor tweaks: upgraded fingerprint recognition for the iPhone 5S, a fix for a persistent home-screen bug, improvements to iTunes Radio, and a new look for the Calendar app. The platform also gets at least one major upgrade, in the form of CarPlay, which helps integrate messaging, maps, and music with your vehicle's touch screen. 

For now, CarPlay works with specific car models built by five companies: Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, Honda, and Volvo. But Apple says a range of manufacturers will be added in the future. 

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If you've got an iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, or iPhone 5S, you'll receive a push notification for the download. (Ditto for iPad 2 or later iPad models; iPad mini or later iPad mini models; and the fifth generation iPod Touch.) You can also download the software via iTunes. 

But make sure you've got enough space cleared on your device: As Eric Zeman of Information Week notes, iOS 7 requires between "250 MB and 325 MB [of free space], depending on what device you have." In other words, get ready to part with some of those big video files. 

iOS 7, which was released last fall in conjunction with the iPhone 5S, represented a major overhaul from iOS 6. Gone were the cartoonish, skeuomorphic icons; ushered in was a "flat" interface with sharp lines and plenty of color. 

Late last month, after security experts disclosed the existence of an iOS 7 bug that was described as "bad as you could imagine," Apple was forced to release a security fix, but that update did not add any meaningful features. 

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