Apple has released the first major update to its mobile OS with iOS 7.1 and for users of the Cupertino based company’s iPhones it addresses a host of issues that have plagued their devices since the major overhaul of the OS last year.

Apple’s flagship smartphone, the iPhone 5s, gets an enhancement to one of its biggest features, the TouchID fingerprint sensor embedded in the home button. The recognition software has been tweaked by Apple to make the authentication process faster and more accurate, all good things then. The iPhone 5s will also have the option to automatically activate the HDR function in the camera app when the lighting calls for it.

iOS 7.1 of course also brings the freshly announced CarPlay functionality, which made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show last week, to the iPhone 5 and its successors. However South Africans will still have to wait before we will have CarPlay available on our shores, let alone the vehicles that have had the system integrated into them, as we once again find ourselves not on the list of countries for the initial phase of the roll out.

For those with Siri enabled iDevices iOS 7.1 brings a new way to control Apple’s digital assistant. Siri now has a push-to-talk like input method that lets you manually control when Siri listens to by holding down the Home button while you speak and releasing it when you’re done. This should help improve accuracy in noisy environments where the connection stays open longer because it mistakes ambient noise for additional inputs or when the connection closes too early during longer inputs like calendar entries where breathing might be required mid-way through.

The latest update should be of particular interest to those users who have installed iOS 7 on either an iPhone 4 or iPad 2 which are the oldest pieces of hardware supported by the operating system. A host of changes that have been made by Apple which it claims will help optimise the performance on older devices are included in the update, which should be a welcome boon for those users who have found the new operating system to be very cumbersome on their increasingly dated hardware.

There are also some minor changes to the iOS keyboard, the ‘incoming call’ and ‘power off’ screens as well as the Calendar application.

Users can download the latest software in the ‘General’ section of ‘Settings’ under software update or through the iTunes client for Mac or PC.