5 Best Features From iOS 7.1 Update

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By Pavithra Rathinavel | March 14, 2014 4:51 PM EST

Apple released its iOS 7.1 software update on Monday with improvements, fixes and new features for iPhones, iPods and iPads. Here are some of the interesting features that you must try: This list is a collection of pointers listed in Cnet and BGR.

Reuters/Robert Galbraith
Apple Siri

Siri is More Reactive And Personal

As we all know, Apple's virtual personal assistant Siri is not flawless. But there are couple of things one can do to make Siri more responsive and more personal.  With the new iOS 7.1, Siri gets quite a lot of updates. Here are couple of them from Cnet:

1) Response: - Siri cannot comprehend when you've ended a query, question, request or command. It misconstrues a small intermission as the end of question. With the latest iOS 7.1, you can fix this problem. Hold down the Home button until you've completed your question. Only when you release the Home button, Siri will provide you with a response.

2) Voice & Accent: - One of the much talked about features in Siri got to be its accent and voice. Although Siri offers a lot of variations in accents, the British accent was not up to the mark, it has always sounded like a made-up accent. With iOS 7.1, the accents/languages sound innate and authentic. To change Siri's voice/accent on your iOS device:

Navigate to Settings screen > tap on the General tab > tap on Siri. And then tap the Language option > select the language.  Now tap the Back Link > tap on Voice Gender to choose Male or Female.

3) Head Gesture Option: - This lets you command tasks by just moving you head to the left or the right.

Navigate to Setting > tap on General tab > tap on Accessibility > scroll down to Physical & Motor > tap on Switch Control > tap on the settings for Switches > tap on Add New Switch.

In the source screen, tap on Camera > tap on Left Head Movement > Scroll down and tap on Siri > tap on Back Link to navigate to Switch control Screen > now tap the button for Switch Control to activate the feature.

No More Displaced Background

Apple's latest software update brings in the much required capability to turn off the 'parallax' (motion on wallpaper images) feature without removing the zooming transition animations when opening and closing apps.

This is how you do it: Make sure "Reduce Motion" is toggled off in Settings > General > Accessibility. Then navigate to Settings > Wallpapers & Brightness > tap your Lock Screen Wallpaper. Toggle Perspective Zoom to off and press set.

Button Shapes Option is Back

Although the earlier versions of iOS, let the user to play with Button Shapes, many complained about the tap targets of the conservative iOS 7 update. But Apple took note of this and with iOS 7.1, it lets the user to add button shapes to the software's text-only tap targets.

Navigate to Settings > General > Accessibility and toggle "Button Shapes" on.

HDR Auto Option

With iOS 7, whenever one closes the camera app iOS, it caused the device to constantly disable HDR. This major bug is fixed in iOS 7.1 update. Apple added a new "HDR Auto" setting on iPhone 5s that will monitor the surrounding lighting conditions and automatically enable or disable HDR.

To utilize this feature: Open the camera app >  tap "HDR On" or "HDR Off". You can select "HDR Auto" and the rest is taken care of.

New Visibility Options

When it comes to accessibility options for the disabled, there is none to beat Apple. With iOS 7.1 update, Apple has added new options for increasing the contrast on the screen of your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, this option will come handy for users with slight vision problem, reports BGR.

Navigate to Settings > General > Accessibility and tap Increase Contrast.

There are three in-depth options to choose from:

1) Reduce Transparency: - This option removes the transparency effect in areas including the home screen, Control Center and the folder backgrounds.

2) Reduce White Point: - This option makes the 'whites' on the screen relatively less bright.

3) Darken Colors: - This option darkens the colors on the device's display to make it more visible.

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(Photo: Reuters/Robert Galbraith / )
Apple Siri
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