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Apple logo with man talking on iPhone

After months of beta releases, Apple has finally launched iOS 7.1.

A comprehensive update, the rejigged platform comes with a slew of changes and new features.

As well as the usual bug fixes, Apple has also thrown in some much-needed updates that should give the platform a decent spruce-up before iOS 8 gets trailled later this summer.

Want the inside line on iOS 7.1? Then read on and we’ll tell you everything you need to know.

1 CarPlay support included

carplay ios 7.1

Apple revealed CarPlay last week at the Geneva Motor Show, with Ferrari, Volvo and Mercedes all signing up to be first to build the platform into their cars.

iOS 7.1 comes with CarPlay baked in, meaning if you shell out for a compatible motor, you’ll be able to use Siri to tee-up music, make calls and answer emails and messages while at the wheel.

2 HDR camera as standard

iphone 5s isight camera

iPhone 5S owners will now find that their camera defaults to HDR mode when taking pictures, thanks to iOS 7.1.

The change means all images taken with Apple’s top-end device should pick out the best colours and details without any need to tinker with the settings.

A welcome change, seeing as HDR is fast becoming the default setting on most smartphone cameras.

3 Siri tweaked

Siri insult

Subtle tweaks have been made to Siri. iOS 7.1 brings a new manual mode, which allows users to hold down the iPhone’s home button, give Siri instructions and then release it to stop.

The idea is to swerve an annoying bug, which sees Siri assume you’ve stopped speaking to it every time you pause for thought.

Apple has also changed the UK English voices to make them ‘more natural sounding’. About time too.

4 Reworked calendar and phone apps

ios 7.1 calendar

Visually, iOS 7.1 is much the same as the original version of the software.

However, Apple has given the calendar and phone apps some minor design tweaks.

You’ll notice changes when you make or take calls, with buttons now round rather than rectangular.

Calendar now has a list view, making it far easier to use, while animations and zooming are now a lot smoother, aimed at cutting down on any pesky motion sickness.

5 Clear some space for a hefty download

ios 7 storage

You’ll need to make sure you’ve got plenty of space for iOS 7.1. iPhone users will need 1.4GB, while iPad owners will have to find 1.5GB.

That’s a really hefty download, so be sure to update over Wi-Fi or via iTunes. Otherwise your data allowance will take a clobbering.

See it as a chance to purge your phone of old apps and video files you’ve been meaning to get rid of in the past few months.

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