Earlier today, Apple released the fifth beta of iOS 7.1 to developers, which included both bug fixes and a minor updates to the operating system.
While previous iOS 7.1 betas introduced several visual changes, iOS 7.1 beta 5 included just a few additional tweaks to further streamline the look of iOS 7 ahead of a prospective public release.
Keyboard: In iOS 7.1 beta 3, Apple introduced a new design for the shift key, which was unpopular with many beta testers as it made it unclear when shift and caps lock were activated. With iOS 7.1 beta 5, Apple has tweaked the keys once again to make it clearer when shift and caps lock are enabled.
Wallpaper: Apple has been tweaking the way wallpaper is handled throughout the iOS 7.1 beta testing period. Beta 3 introduced a “Motion” option to turn off parallax for wallpapers and renamed the function to “Perspective Zoom” in beta 5.
iTunes Radio: iTunes Radio has gained a new “Buy Album” button which accompanies the option to buy an individual song that is playing.
Siri: Siri has gained new natural sounding voices for English (Australia), English (United Kingdom), Japanese, and Chinese (Mandarin – China).
Calendar: iOS 7.1 beta 2 introduced a new event list view within the Calendar app. In beta 5, the toggle for the list view has been made bolder and easier to see.
iOS 7 Jailbreak: Apple patched an evasi0n iOS 7 jailbreak exploit in beta 4 and it appears to have issued another patch for additional exploits in beta 5.
Previous iOS 7.1 betas have also included a number of significant features like a “Button Shapes” option in Accessibility, more prominence for Touch ID and Passcode options, a new look for several aspects of the Phone dialer and shutdown screen, a new animation for “Slide to Unlock” and a slightly revamped color for the Phone, FaceTime, and Messages app icons.
Though a December report from BGR indicated that iOS 7.1 would not be released to the public until March, today’s build number, which is not much different than the build number of beta 4 indicates the software could be nearing a public launch.
A new report from BGR issued today also retracts the initial March release estimate and suggests the software will be released to the public in the “coming weeks” following the debut of a golden master build of iOS 7.1 for developers.