All The Changes In iOS 7.1 Beta You’ll Actually Notice

iPhone5sios7

This morning Apple released its first major beta build of iOS 7 to developers since the release of iOS 7 in September. On the surface the update seems to be just a bunch of bug fixes and performance improvements for a number of apps, but once you dig into the new software a little more there are a couple UI changes and new features that we’ve found.

Here are the new changes to iOS 7.1 that you might actually notice:

Dark Keyboard

iOS 7 is flat and white all over but a few apps like Tweetbot 3.0 have taken advantage of Apple’s dark keyboard to give their apps more variation. With the iOS 7.1 beta users can finally switch to the dark keyboard permanently under the Accessibility Settings

darkkeyboard

darkkeyboard

Improved Contrasts

Another new Accessibility option added to the iOS 7.1 beta essentially darkens the entire OS by giving users the options to Reduce Transparency, turning the dock and folder backgrounds a dark grey. You can  choose to darken colors in iOS 7.1 too.

reducetransparency

increasedcontrast

Speaking of Accessibility enhancements, Apple also added controls that increase contrast throughout the UI. You can now choose to Reduce Transparency to improve contrast on some backgrounds so you can read text better. There’s also an option to darken colors if iOS 7 is just too damn bright.

New HDR Auto Mode

Apple added a new HDR Auto mode to iOS 7.1 beta that automatically chooses the best photo from your HDR snap. You can toggle HDR Auto off by just switching to “HDR On” if you want the camera to save all 3 exposures to your camera roll with the option to expand and view each frame. The switching UI is a bit confusing at first, so hopefully Apple makes some improvements before final release.

hdrauto

To switch back to regular HDR mode just tap the HDR button and choose “On” or “HDR Off”.

hdrauto2

Burst Photo Uploads

Burst mode on the iPhone 5s is awesome for making sure you capture the perfect moment with a machine gun barrage of frames, but also those burst mode scenes eat up storage. Now you can choose whether or not to upload Burst Mode Photos to your PhotoStream.

burstphotos

Yahoo Logo

Yahoo’s logo has been updated throughout the operating system to reflect its new design:

yahoologo

Flickr Gets More Minimal

Flickr’s logo in the iOS 7.1 beta Settings has lost its gradient and app icon border, getting replaced with more minimalist white space to go with its blue and pick dots.

flickr

Related
  • JMO_L

    Great, I’m glad Apple is listening to feedback.

  • sean_676

    Now if they would just fix the music app, all would be right in the world.

  • Timothy Williamson

    I’m hearing about slightly faster animations too.

  • david_fabian

    Apple previously stated that iOS in the Car would come to iOS 7.1, so we may see more on that in upcoming releases.

  • MbDenton

    SMH… “Use Dark Keyboard,” “Increase Contrast,” “Darken Colors”… These are all just Band-aids for some of the poor visual design decisions made in iOS7, not actual solutions. Very un-Apple-like.

    Allowing the user to replace the too light, low-contrast keyboard for the too-dark, low-contrast keyboard is just silly and shouldn’t even be an option the user should have to make. How about just actually making the default keyboard easier for everyone to see?

    Say what you will about skeumorphism, but iOS never garnered these complaints nor needed these band-aids before iOS7.

  • Robert X

    SMH… “Use Dark Keyboard,” “Increase Contrast,” “Darken Colors”… These are all just Band-aids for some of the poor visual design decisions made in iOS7, not actual solutions. Very un-Apple-like.

    Allowing the user to replace the too light, low-contrast keyboard for the too-dark, low-contrast keyboard is just silly and shouldn’t even be an option the user should have to make. How about just actually making the default keyboard easier for everyone to see?

    Say what you will about skeumorphism, but iOS never garnered these complaints nor needed these band-aids before iOS7.

    Those aren’t bandaids. Those are choices.

  • fitbodylife

    I don’t know this is happening to anyone else but my 5s no longer has the new alert tones under text tone sounds. But if you go under ring tones, the new alert tones work. I’ve tried updating 3 times on 2 separate 5s. let me see if it happens on my 5. anyone else?

  • MbDenton

    Those aren’t bandaids. Those are choices.

    Choices a well-functioning visual design team is equipped to make on their own. Not choices the average user should ever have to think about. I’m worried for Apple software design under Ive if it’s become easier for the iOS product managers to include these add-on features to overcome poor design than for their designer’s to address the visual design itself. The default iOS7 keyboards don’t even pass basic accessibility standards for contrast. A true interface designer (not a marketing dept) would never have let that design ship.

    Meanwhile, a year later Apple Maps still says there is a gas station in my backyard.

  • Steven Quan

    “It’s not just about how it looks, it’s how it wurks that determines great industrial design” ~ Jony Ive

    Well, Mr Ive has certainly delivered on his industrial design. I can’t see the keys on the keyboard, but I can confirm, they do work.

  • trudderham

    Nice to see Apple continuing to tweak iOS 7. There are a few more update notes and screenshots of the changes here: http://iosguides.net/ios-7-1-beta-iphone-ipad/

  • YearoftheRat

    I don’t know this is happening to anyone else but my 5s no longer has the new alert tones under text tone sounds. But if you go under ring tones, the new alert tones work. I’ve tried updating 3 times on 2 separate 5s. let me see if it happens on my 5. anyone else?

    Another site did a review of iOS 7.1 and it’s a known bug

  • anilutkulu

    wish to see camera application in app barcode/QR Code scanning

  • Holt Lipman

    Anyone else notice that there are now only 5 fingerprints allowed on 5S’s?

  • TarekMMD

    Totally and absolutely agree. While I love the new functionality, I find that the flatness of iOS7 a hindrance to productive use of the OS. I am always looking for what to press, because it is not obvious any more. The idea of trying to make everything look like a hyperlink is not such a great idea because most developers struggle with a good design. Even with Apple’s apps, the flatness makes you search. I see no problem with the 3D effects of the previous design. At least it gave a subconscious hint of what do press. Only really bad app designers couldn’t make it look good.

    What is worse, is that Microsoft copied this in their Win 8 and Office 2013. Office 2013 is so painful on the eyes because you have no contrast and no indications where things start and end. Only by familiarity of the products are you able to navigate.

    Flat design, while pretty to look at, is a productivity hindrance.

    SMH… “Use Dark Keyboard,” “Increase Contrast,” “Darken Colors”… These are all just Band-aids for some of the poor visual design decisions made in iOS7, not actual solutions. Very un-Apple-like.

    Allowing the user to replace the too light, low-contrast keyboard for the too-dark, low-contrast keyboard is just silly and shouldn’t even be an option the user should have to make. How about just actually making the default keyboard easier for everyone to see?

    Say what you will about skeumorphism, but iOS never garnered these complaints nor needed these band-aids before iOS7.

  • DJBabyBuster

    Save yourself from iOS 7.1 if you plan on jailbreaking.

About the author

Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Social Media Editor. Hailing from Roswell, New Mexico, but now spending his days in Phoenix, Arizona, he wastes most of his time eating burritos and reading Spanish romance novels. Twitter: @bst3r.

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