Everything you need to know about Apple’s latest iOS 7 update


A sign for the Apple  iPhone is displayed  in New Delhi, India, on Nov. 2, 2013. (Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Apple released a new update to its latest operating system, iOS 7, in a Monday update that marks the first major changes Apple's made to the system in the six months since it made its debut. The update adds support for Apple's new connected car service, CarPlay, and also fixes some bugs such as one that was making some users' home screens crash.

The update isn't huge — nothing like the complete cosmetic overhaul that Apple unleashed when it first showed off iOS 7 — but it does include several small changes that you'll probably notice right away. For one, the colors are little more muted, for better contrast. Plus, certain animations, such as the screen when you get an incoming call, look a little different.

Diving a little deeper into the update, Apple has added some tweaks to the Calendar, which lets users look at a list of their events for the month, and has also improved the recognition technology behind its Touch ID fingerprint reader.

The firm has also made some changes to Siri, making it possible for users to hold down the home button the entire time they talk to the virtual assistant, and then release it to have the phone stop listening. It's an option, but a good usability tweak for those who want it. Users can also choose more "natural-sounding" options for Siri in UK English, Australian English, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese.

Apple has also made a tweak to its iTunes Radio feature, including one that lets you buy albums from the "Now Playing" feature rather than just singles.

And finally, for shutterbugs, Apple has also included an update just for iPhone 5s users that will automatically turn on the high-dynamic range, or HDR, feature when needed rather than making you toggle the feature yourself.

The update is rolling out to users now. To check for it, you can go to the "General" menu of your Settings app, and click on "Software Update."

Apple  did have to release a mini-update to iOS 7 last month to address a security flaw in its mobile devices.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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