Apple’s much-anticipated iOS 7.1 update could come any day now, according to new information from John Gruber of Daring Fireball. Gruber has heard that Apple has plans to release an iOS 7.1-reliant app that will stream the iTunes Festival performances at SXSW, and as SXSW will begin on March 11, iOS 7.1 will need to be released to the public ahead of that date.
Apple’s first iTunes Festival in the U.S. starts a week from today at SXSW in Austin. Apple is going to stream the performances to iOS devices using an app, but I’ve heard from a little birdie that the app requires iOS 7.1 (which explains why the app isn’t out yet). That means iOS 7.1 should ship any day now.
iOS 7.1 has been in testing since mid-November, and has seen five different developer betas thus far with the last beta coming on February 4. The operating system update includes a number of visual tweaks, including revamped shift and caps locks keys on the keyboard, refined icons for the Phone, FaceTime, and Messages apps, and a new look for several aspects of the Phone dialer.
Details on features in past beta releases can be found in our previous beta posts: Beta 1,Beta 2, Beta 3, Beta 4 and Beta 5.
A mid-March release date for iOS 7.1 is in line with several previous reports that havepointed to a March launch for the operating system. Apple has yet to seed a Golden Master build to developers, however.
Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, and London Grammar kick off the SXSW iTunes Festival with a performance on March 11 that begins at 7:30 PM CST.
A concept video of what a unified Control Center and multitasking interface would look like in iOS 8 has been created by designer Bill Labus and posted by TheTechBlock (via Cult of Mac).
The version of iOS 8 in the video shows the app switcher and user settings in one unified view accessed by a single swipe up gesture. Users are free to multitask or toggle preferences such as music volume and WiFi, as the buttons for the toggles themselves have been combined into one space to allow for more room. The video also shows a refined Notification Center that features a minimalistic look with more centered text, which is triggered by a swipe gesture down.
Labus also noted his reasons for making such changes to integrate the multitasking switcher into Control Center:
Unfortunately, I find double-clicking the home button to be irritating- there’s a noticeable delay between the second click and the multitasking view appearing, and in my haste I often accidentally triple-click the home button, forcing me to wait while the OS bounces into, and back out of, multitasking. Control Center’s bottom edge gesture is far faster and easier to perform, however as I said I do use Control Center frequently as well, so I wouldn’t necessarily want to swap the two and use the home button double click to bring up Control Center.
Apple introduced Control Center and a refined version of multitasking with the release of iOS 7 last fall. While an overhaul or unification of both is unlikely to happen with any immediate update to iOS 7, it is possible that Apple could make major changes in time for iOS 8, which will likely be released this fall.
Apple has purchased Burstly, the company behind the popular iOS beta testing platformTestFlight, according to TechCrunch. The site says its sources have “pointed in Apple’s direction” and that though it’s just a rumor at this point, it would make a good fit.
TestFlight said on Wednesday that it would be discontinuing its Android product and it will no longer take new customers for its beta testing SDK — existing customers can continue using TestFlight, however.
Odder still is how these product announcements – which greatly impact the company’s mobile developer user base – have been handled so far. There’s been no mention of them on the TestFlight changelog, for example, no company blog post, no emails, and no mention of them on social media channels – that is, unless you count the replies to confused developers from @testflightapp, the company’s main Twitter account. Developers are being asked to reach out directly to the company via an email form instead of being given a more useful public reply.
There are a number of different beta testing iOS platforms, including TestFlight andHockeyApp, though a number of larger developers have created their own testing platforms through Apple’s Enterprise distribution program.
A new report from 9to5Mac claims iOS 7.1 will indeed be released to all iOS users in March, representing the first major revision since iOS 7 was launched publicly in September of last year.
Sources note the next version of iOS 7 will continue with the visual improvements, minor tweaks and bug fixes reported in earlier beta versions seeded to developers.
While recent reports are pegging a launch sooner than later, reliable sources say that Apple is currently planning to ship iOS 7.1, the first significant update to iOS 7, in March. The iOS 7.1 update is said to not have any “secret features,” and it will basically be what we have been told to expect by the past five betas: some user-interface tweaks in the Phone app, an improved Calendar app, speed improvements, and numerous bug-fixes.
BGR originally cited a March release date for iOS 7.1 back in late December, but a follow-up report earlier this week seemed to hedge on that claim somewhat by noting that the update was expected in the “coming weeks.” Slowing increments of build numbers from the developer beta versions suggest the software is nearing a public launch, but whether that date lands in late February or the early March is not clear.
Previous iOS 7.1 betas have included various improvements such as a new “Button Shapes” option in Accessibility, keyboard tweaks that indicate shift and caps locks, a new event list view within the Calendar app and refined icons for the Phone, FaceTime, and Messages app. The unreleased iOS in the Car feature has also been refined in the iOS 7.1 beta testing period, but it is unclear when the functionality will be made available to the public.
Apple may be close to releasing iOS 7.1 beta 4 to developers, according to a report byBGR. The new beta is reportedly in the hands of testing partners and is slated to be released to developers as soon as tomorrow. The beta will be the fourth of a reported six planned developer builds for iOS 7.1.
We are told there are various fixes in this latest version, including fixing keyboard issues, problems with the contacts app, more changes to the phone UI, and other changes. We have heard from sources that with iOS 7.1, Apple is working very hard to address some large memory bugs and other issues in iOS 7 that have caused crashes and restarts for a lot of people. Additionally, iOS 7.1 should help unify iOS 7 better graphically, with various user interface updates across the entire system and in apps for a more cohesive feel.
BGR has a bit of a hit-or-miss track record when it comes to predicting iOS releases, but the timing for a new iOS 7 beta release makes sense. Apple tends to release new beta versions every few weeks, and tomorrow would be two weeks since the release of iOS 7.1 beta 3. It should be noted that the build number mentioned by BGR for the fourth beta, 11D5127c, is actually for the current iOS 7.1 beta 3. A possible typo, however, doesn’t invalidate the entire rumor, and therefore it remains plausible that the beta 4 is still in the pipleline for a developer release tomorrow.