Ars Technica reviews Apple’s iOS 7.1: Important refinements, improved stability and performance

“iOS 7.1’s version number implies a much smaller update, but it has spent a considerable amount of time in development. Apple has issued five betas to developers since November of 2013, and almost every one of them has tweaked the user interface in small but significant ways,” Andrew Cunningham writes for Ars Technica. “It feels like Apple has been taking its time with this one, weighing different options and attempting to address the harshest criticism of the new design without the deadline pressure that comes with a major release.”

“iOS 7.1 isn’t a drastic change, but it brings enough new design elements, performance improvements, and additional stability to the platform that it might just win over the remaining iOS 6 holdouts,” Cunningham writes. “Four months separated the release of iOS 6.0 and iOS 6.1. Apple took almost twice as long to give iOS 7.0 its first major update, but the OS has clearly benefitted from the extra development time. Whether you have a phone or tablet, and whether that tablet is brand new or three years old, iOS 7.1 is going to fix something important for you. Its performance and general stability are where iOS 7.0 should have been in the first place.”

“The thicker fonts, higher contrast, and UI-options-disguised-as-accessibility-settings strike a better compromise between the new design and the old. iOS 7.0 was conceived, coded, and pushed out the door in a short amount of time, and iOS 7.1 looks and feels like a more consistent and coherent version of what we got in September,” Cunningham writes. “iOS 7.1 will probably be iOS 7’s last big update before iOS 8 comes out, assuming Apple sticks to its usual fall release schedule. Whatever new features and design tweaks we see when that happens, iOS 7.1 gives the company an excellent foundation to build on.”

Tons more in the extensive full article – recommended – here.

Related articles:
Apple’s iOS 7.1 delivers major, game-changing iBeacon improvement – March 11, 2014
7 new features in Apple’s new iOS 7.1 – March 11, 2014
Apple’s new iOS 7.1 delivers big iPhone 4 performance gains, improved UI elements, better navigation audio, and more – March 11, 2014
Apple releases iOS 7.1 – March 10, 2014
iOS 7.1 imminent – March 5, 2014


    1. That’s been in iOS 7 since the first release. Now with the thicker default fonts I’ve been able to turn that off and run under standard iOS 7 UI element.

    1. Evidence that iOS 7 lowered our expectations. If iOS 6.1 looked like this, we all would have howled.

      We deserve to have a UI that doesn’t look like a fifth grader drew it on a kitchen table in one evening.

  1. The camera app button bar still covers 20% of the view and makes it difficult frame the image (on iPhone 4 screen).

    When shooting video you press the red button which turns to a… red button to tell you you are shooting a video.

    Both of those are beginner’s design mistakes, but in Apple’s case they are features.

  2. Reminds me of (Mac) System 7.0 and 7.1.
    System 7.1 was a big change from System 6, with a lot of good new things. Then there was a really good 7.1 update that dealt with a bunch of annoying issues, and resulted in a very solid OS (for its time). The next “big” update was to 7.5, and a lot of it was basically Apple purchasing and including a bunch of third-party control panels and extensions that power users already had in 7.1. 🙂

  3. I HATE the shift key on the light keyboard. When the shift key is “pressed,” it looks like all the other “unpressed” keys. Who thought that was a good idea? For now, the dark keyboard on the search screen still has the shift key behaving properly.

  4. They are still obsessed with the idea of having as few visible controls or feedback items on the screen. Simplicity is one thing, but lets not get silly about it. Interfaces should never leave the user wondering what to do next. 3rd party apps GENERALLY do a better job, and good ones don’t look cluttered, its all about design. A “save” or “next” button or a progress indicator never hurt anybody. Sorry, dont have time to give a list of examples, just think about the times when an iOS app gave you a sense of irritation. It will and does happen. Apple can do better.

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