iOS 7.1: What to expect from the update

iOS 7.1 is right around the corner. Apple released a beta of the upcoming phone and tablet OS. What's new this time around?

By , Staff writer

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    An Apple iPad and iPhone run iOS 7.
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Apple called in the bug exterminators Monday. The company released an updated version of its phone and tablet operating system to developers, allowing them to report any problems and glitches – as well as update their apps – before Apple rolls out the software to the public.

This new iOS 7.1 is the first major update since Apple dramatically changed the look of its mobile OS. The patch mostly squashes known bugs, but it introduces a few additional features, as well. So, what should you expected?

With the update, Apple will introduce a "dark keyboard" option. Once turned on, the virtual keyboard will change to a darker color palette, which can be easier on the eyes in poorly lit rooms or outside at night. The setting, like many of the iPhone and iPad's most interesting features, will be tucked away in Settings > General > Accessibility. 

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Apple tweaked several other user-interface elements, as well. For example, in iOS 7.1, Notification Center will tell people when they have "No Missed Notifications" or "No Notifications." Right now, the page is simply blank, leaving some users to wonder if they are up-to-date or if Notification Center didn't load correctly.

Camera settings will gain the option to "Upload Burst Photos" to a person's Photo Stream. Apple introduced Burst Photos with iOS 7 as a way to take rapid-fire images of a fast-moving event, such as sports. People can then go back and choose the best images from the bunch or turn the whole batch into brief animations. 

After developers poke and prod at iOS 7.1, Apple will distribute the software update to the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, iPad 2, third- and fourth-generation iPads, iPad Air, iPad Mini with Retina display, iPad Mini, and the fifth-generation iPod Touch.

Apple has not yet announced a release date.

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