Apple released iOS 7.1 on Tuesday this week, and most have noticed the minor updates like changes to the visual style and slight enhancements to Weather and Calendar apps. For most, this will appear to be an unremarkable release. But there’s some really interesting stuff hidden subtly on the inside!

iBeacon has gotten major support and refinement in iOS 7.1. If you haven’t heard of it, don’t feel bad! It’s bleeding edge stuff that was unknown to me until recently as well! It’s an indoor positioning system that uses special sensors to determine your location, like in-store GPS that can detect exactly where you are and help you find what you’re looking for. This is a sign for really exciting things to come, as iBeacon is on the cusp of revolutionizing the retail industry. iOS 7.1 adds background beacon searching and much more lightning-fast beacon detection responsiveness. Before, an app had to be explicitly running and there were delays of minutes (not seconds) to detect location. Learn more about iBeacon from BEEKn.

Also new in this update is Apple CarPlay. This is a special interface auto makers can build into cars to support an iOS-like touchscreen on your dashboard that works off your phone. Most of the major manufacturers are on board, which is good news. However, the real benefit here is Apple’s openness to expand a “flavor” of iOS to an experience outside of iPhones and iPads. I see a future where your phone will seamlessly interface with all sorts of screens. The result will be perfectly tailored experiences combining your data and preferences with an interface optimized for exactly where you are and what you mean to do with it. Read my lips: This will be huge, and CarPlay paves the way.

What’s got you excited in iOS 7.1?


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