Screen Shot 2014-02-04 at 1.01.20 PM

Approximately two weeks following the previous seed, Apple has released iOS 7.1 beta 5 to developers. The new beta is currently available for those running earlier versions of 7.1 via Software Update in Settings.

Previous betas revealed some minor user-interface changes in the Phone application. Release notes for this new beta indicate some Siri improvements for international users. “This seed adds new natural-sounding Siri voices for English (Australia), English (United Kingdom), Japanese, and Chinese (Mandarin – China),” according to the release notes provided by a developer.

We’ll update this post as more details about the new beta come to light:

Screen Shot 2014-02-04 at 1.18.13 PM

- New shift and caps keys

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53 Responses to “Apple releases iOS 7.1 beta 5 to developers with higher-quality international Siri, altered keyboard”

  1. PMZanetti says:

    So is it safe to say that Apple just refuses to speed up the UI animations and we’re forever stuck with a UI that is 50% slower than iOS 6 to navigate, unless we jailbreak? I just don’t get it.

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    • Are you saying that you have not installed betas 2-5 yet? because the UI animations increased dramatically since 7.0 and I would say they are on par if not faster than iOS6.

      Like

    • Ben Winick says:

      As a matter of fact, the animations have been sped up quite a bit in the 7.1 betas. Maybe not iOS 6 fast, but significantly faster than 7.0.x.

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    • rogifan says:

      What are you basing that statement on?

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    • PMZanetti says:

      Yes yes, they’ve sped up a lot since 7.0.4, but that isn’t saying much…they are still slow as a snail.

      Compare to a device that has been jailbroken and has HiddenSettings unlocked (Apple-create settings manager). With that you have a slider bar to change animation speed…at 50% of current speed it is quite wonderful and very fast (if you want it to be). Somewhere around 40-60% of the current speed is where it should be.

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    • Robert Nixon says:

      No, it is not safe to say that at all. In fact, all evidence points to the complete opposite.

      Never understood why some people feel compelled to talk about things as though they know what they’re talking about when they clearly have zero experience with the subject.

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      • Tallest Skil says:

        Well, if they didn’t, Congress would be out of a job. They don’t do much law writing these days, after all.

        HI-YO.

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      • PMZanetti says:

        Evidence? You mean like the fact that they adjusted the speed slightly with iOS 7.1 beta 1, and then have not changed it at all through 4 subsequent betas?

        I’d say that is pretty substantial evidence that Apple is (so far) happy with the speed and doesn’t want to increase it anymore.

        Or, quite simply, the fact that they shipped it with such painfully slow animations to begin with (indicating they thought they were good at that point), and in response to criticism, tweak them ever so slightly?

        Yeah, that would be ample evidence that Apple doesn’t see anything wrong with the animation speed as is….which is incredibly frustrating.

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      • They increased the speed slightly in beta 1, and then a lot more in beta 2. I think the current speed in 7.1 is a pretty good balance between responsiveness and visual fluidity.

        If you just can’t spare a few microseconds and want it to be lightning fast (i.e. disregarding how they want it to make the users “feel”), just jailbreak and tinker it how you like it.

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    • yea. just a little faster would really be so nice.

      I also find the way the icons animate in so distracting. instead of my eye going to where I remember the app I want to launch being my eyes will go to where the motion is. This is worse when I’m on task and focused to do something since I’m focused on the screen.

      They should all just come in at the same time. be as quick and subtle as possible. like it was on iOS 6. iOS 6 was a slide in from the sides, not coming in on the z axis. This makes way more sense since the point of locking your phone is to protect access to your apps. The apps are behind the lock screen. Now the apps come in from a z plane above the lock screen. It makes no sense. guess it looks cooler if you have touch id? whatever.

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      • Have you tried turning off the animations? Easy fix if you don’t like the animations. Just fades from one view to another.

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      • I actually really like the fade animation when reduced motion is turned off, but I also like the parallax effect. Maybe they will eventually add a switch for both, reduce animation and reduce parallax, that way you could keep parallax, but choosing the fade animations.

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      • Nathan, yes I’ve tried it. I don’t like it. Honestly I’m fine with all other animations but the opening animation. Zoomin in and out of apps not only looks cool but also lends to spacial awareness. As app animates out you remeber where its place was on the screen. The opening animation does nothing for the user other that look new and fancy, distract, and take more time than needed.

        As an animator and the basic fade looks horrible to me. I like things to look good but not over function. The cascade is superfluous. If they all came in at once I would be less distracted by it. But like PMZanetti said maybe now that they shipped it they can’t drastically change it in a point update. By ios 8 it will be better. At least I tell myself.

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    • I think animation speed is perfectly fine as it is. You can still disable animations if you don’t like them, but making them faster than they are doesn’t make any sense, it’s be hard to see them properly.

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  2. That’s it, I’ve gone and registered my udid with a reg site and installing the beta 5 now. I used http://www.registerudid.net in case any one’s looking for a reputable site.

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  3. does anyone else really miss iOS 6 multitasking?
    I find the new one so frustrating.

    the point of icons is to allow people to process large amounts of information quickly. hence why iOS home screen works so well. No distractions. think app, find app, open app.

    Now that the screenshots are center focus I naturally look at and interact with them, but I can’t even tell what they are most the time and since apps close in the background I’m not even locking at a screen that was how i remember it. Since I’m scrolling on them, my thumb blocks the app icons. I know the name and icon of what I want but I can’t see it. It’s even harder to process things since they are constantly scrolling and the icons are distractingly scrolling at a different rate. If I do use the icons to scroll, shit goes crazy and I go past the app I want.

    Before we could see 4 app icons at a time. Quickly glance and process all 4 at once to find what we want. If it’s not there we do a quick swipe and can process 4 more without fiddling around with the scrolling.

    this seems like another stupid thing to look cool. Something android did that I thought was a useless gimmick and now apple is doing it. Everyone wanted it because the thought of it seems better. Multitasking went from being a cmd tab equivalent to being a more useless version of mission control.

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    • PMZanetti says:

      The only thing I dislike about iOS 7 multitasking is the continuous scrolling, and the lack of any “snap” in the scrolling. Makes it very difficult to bring the desired app to the center, stop it from moving, then tap it.

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      • seems like you can open the apps now pretty smoothly before they are at a full stop. It helps but I still find it a lot to processes and scrolling something I need to focus on more than a swipe. I just don’t get why the app icons scroll at a different rate. it’s much more confusing to see icons overlap screenshots for other apps than it is useful to see that extra sliver of an app icon to the left and right.

        is there a good reason why they do this?

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      • The icons scroll at a different rate than the app window because of a parallax effect. The icons are supposed to appear on a higher plane than the app windows, hence they would scroll at a perceived faster rate than objects in the background. Tilt your phone and you’ll see what I mean, the icons appear to be sitting on a higher plane.

        And yes, the iOS 7 scrolling does have a “lock in.” Try to scroll an icon half-way, like just drag your finger a little bit and let go. It will snap back in to place. An application will ALWAYS be centered in the multitasking view. Even if you do a flick scroll, an application will always situate itself into the center of the display.

        Its not quite the same as the paginated scrolling in iOS 6, but it DOES have some sort of snapping effect to make sure that there is always an application centered when scrolling is ended.

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      • @AMIllah

        I don’t get why apple would chose do do something confusing and not usable for the sake of some dumb 3d concept that doesn’t work. Yes objects closer to you will appear to be mover faster than the background, but that’s not what is happening here. The background images are moving faster, not the icons. This is because they need to move more as they are wider and less are shown and need to keep up with the icons. But more than that, why are they on a different 3d plane to begin with? How does this help users get to the app they want faster?

        It doesn’t. it’s just for looks. But the thing is I try to hold my phone still when using it so I can actually use it and not mess around with a gimmick.

        yes, it snaps but it’s so slow. it glides to a smooth stop so you have to look at a moving target but they have to do that since you are only looking at 1 full screen shot and 2 half ones at a time.

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    • Multitasking in iOS 7 is substantially better than in iOS 6. To suggest otherwise is laughable. Now we get a preview of the app we’re in, and it is a way easier to kill a program. Most people had no idea what the multitasking mode was in iOS 6. The new one is self explanatory.

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      • Yeah, I’m not getting that. I do not see how it’s “substantially better”. Does seeing an image of all the apps you had open at some point really make it that much better?

        It is only good if you only ever want to go back to the one most recently used app. I will agree that the screenshot and and icon of that app being right in the center seems like an improvement for most people. In this case the screenshot is easy to process and maybe easier than the icon because your brain has enough ram to remember what the last state of the screen of that app was and you recognize it right away.

        Anything beyond that you are better off going to the home screen to find it. As soon as you start to scroll, in this new UI, usability is shot. After the fist two screenshots my ability to remember the exact state in which I last left more than a couple apps is gone. I remember I used an app recently, but I don’t have an image of it in my head. Not only am I trying to recognize apps by their screen information but now I’m trying to do it to a constantly moving target. Instead of doing a sloppy swipe to see more, I have to finely control my scroll so that it doesn’t go too fast but most of the time I’m doing this in a rush. Way more brain power and way more hand eye coordination for something I’m trying to do more quickly than going to the home screen.

        It doesn’t take much thinking to recognize app icons. That is the point of an icon. It conveys large amounts of information and ideas with as little brain power as possible. I think, “I want to use music app,” and I know I used it recently. But maybe after I set a song I checked my mail, responded to a text, and started reading an article in safari. Now the music app is 4 apps back. I don’t remember if I left it on the now playing view or in the artist view or in song view. I just know “music” and the instant I see that icon I recognize it. The thing is, now I have to do all that thinking and work to get to it. I have to scroll looking for what might be the music app in any possibility of it’s screen in Apple’s new generic white interface. If my thumb isn’t blocking the icon I might actually find it reasonably fast but the screen is still scrolling. I need to stop it and tap and Now i can finally change the album.

        In iOS 6 all I’d have to do is double tap home, immediately recognize the music icon on the right. Then tap the icon. I can get to 4 past apps, all of which their icons I’d recognize immediately. If it wasn’t on that screen I could do a super sloppy and hasty swipe, move my hand out of the way and recognize for more options.

        And Here is the little extra part of the new UI that ticks me off. Even in the old multitasking there will be times when my memory fails me. I think that I used something recently but it’s more than one or two swipes away. At this point I can either give up and tap above the tray to get back to what I was doing or just hit the home button once to be taken to the home screen to find it. In iOS 7 you can scroll and get lost trying to scroll through your apps. There is no sense of place or landmarks. You don’t know if you are 4 apps in or 12 apps in since it’s not paginated. Then lets say you can’t find the app and give up. You want to go to the home screen to find it, but because the app you were in is now out of site the home button does not do what it is supposed to do, what it should consistently do, and it takes you back to the app you were in after a long scrolling animation before you can hit the home button again to actually get to what you wanted.

        I don’t see what’s funny about this. I don’t see what’s substantially better. But in writing this I know it can be better. If we think about what works and does’t work instead of just accepting it as better we can make things actually better. Keep the big screenshot for the first and second app but when you swipe it can snap to a slightly different UI, one better suited for finding things that may not be immediately in your memory. It can change to show icons more dominantly and screenshots less so. Show 4 icons and have them line up perfectly with reduced screenshots or maybe cropped or stacked screenshots.

        This way you get what you and most people need—one big image of one app front and center. And everyone else gets what they need when they don’t just want that. I’ll have to test if this can look good or work well in mockups but I’m not satisfied with thinking this new UI is inherently better because… well big images.

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  4. I really wish Apple would fix the glitch in the multi-tasking view when you swipe away the app you just opened. You’ll notice the status bar appears at the top of the multi-tasking card view and then when you go back to an app or the home screen there is overlapping of the status bars. This has been around all of iOS 7…iOS 7 should just keep the status bar at the top of the multi-tasking view and remove all the redundancy from all the app ‘screen shots’…so sloppy. Fix it Apple!!!

    I’ve posted a video here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0kJUjprhvmMSHo0YXFPOG9HNzIwSzNMNS1ZY3RSc1NvLUFj/edit?usp=sharing

    Like

  5. Are they going to include a “KillAll” option in multitasking any time soon? Just for when my kids open 30 different games and my OCD side kicks in and I have to go through and swipe every single one closed… :(

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    • I don’t get this obsession. if it wasn’t actually necessary to close down apps in some cases I’d prefer apple remove that function all together and people would stop being OCD about it.

      Most games don’t run any background processes so when you go to home screen they just stop but are still in ram so if you use multitasking—for multitasking, they are where you left them. If you open a new app that needs more ram they are automatically purged from memory to make space. This is why no one needs to do this unless there is actually a problem with the app and it needs to restart.

      Infinity blade III uses so much of my iPhone 4s ram that every time I leave it and go back it needs to reload. Basically it is being purged from ram as soon as I open another app.

      It’s mostly an OCD habit that I see tons of people do all the time. it still makes me cringe when I see people do it because they have no idea why they are doing it. it defeats the purpose of having a multitasking switcher if there is nothing to switch to

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      • First of all, why do you care if people want to remove apps from the multitasking bar? I understand that it’s not technologically necessary and that they’re not running processes in the background. I didn’t claim that it was “bogging down my iPad”. I understand how iOS multitasking works. That’s why I said it’s somewhat OCD, which is, by definition, feeling compelled to do something you know is unnecessary or illogical. It’s a neat-freak thing. I like having my stuff a certain way, and it would be nice to have more control over the multitasking bar.

        Having said that, let me give you a practical example of why it’s also more than just OCD for many people:
        I typically use the same 3-4 apps to do everything I need my iPad for on a given day. When I’m working, and go to swipe between these apps, sometimes I accidentally go one app too far. When this happens, I don’t want to have to wait for bulky, slow-to-load Elmo’s Alphabet, or using your example, IB3, to open up and kick everything else I’ve been doing off of the RAM. You may not have had to deal with this if you don’t give your device to children to play with on a regular basis, but this is a common scenario for many of the people I work with. In order to prevent this small annoyance, which in my position can occasionally lead to missing time sensitive information on, I have to take time during a break to remove all of the apps, individually, from my multitasking bar. It’s a tedious process when you’re using the iPad after a 3 year old. I would just like a way to do this more quickly than by swiping up on each app individually.

        You mentioned that not having an empty multitask bar defeats its purpose, which I agree with completely. You need apps in the bar to multitask between in order to multitask. However, the ability of the multitasking bar to keep every app you’ve opened “accessible” to “multitasking” also defeats its purpose. Nobody can “multitask” when 40-50 apps show up in the bar and it just becomes quicker to just click out to the home screen and click the actual app icon than to swipe through all of the apps that have piled up in there. It makes multitasking less seamless, and feel less “Apple”. Being able to quickly clean up the multitasking bar would still be a helpful option in my opinion. Now if the bar only kept a certain, maybe even adjustable, number of apps there, that might also help make it more useful, especially since most of the apps aren’t doing anything. I would personally take either option. I would just appreciate some sort of improvement.

        Now, you might ask, “But wouldn’t putting an option like this propagate Grandma’s notion that her iPad must be slow ‘because she has too many apps open’?” Most likely, but going back to my first question, why do you care? It’s a small price, which I’m more than willing to pay, in order to keep the functionality of the multitasker intact, and I know many people who would agree.

        You don’t have to call it “KillAll”, since maybe the Android flavor of that phrase is what set off your annoyance, but they should at least do something about it. It was just a suggestion from an otherwise generally content Apple product user.

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      • tevorKTaylor,
        I don’t know. I guess me caring is as illogical as how I think people are being when they close down all of the apps.

        Usually the problem isn’t that their apps should be closed but it’s something else and closing the apps might solve that problem in a round about way. For example, they think it will save them battery. Maybe? Maybe if the apps were running background processes or one of the 12 apps they use has a bug that developers missed and is leaking memory, I don’t know. You’re right, I shouldn’t care. But throwing in a button to let users close all apps just seems like a lazy designer’s solution.

        Like in your case. You have a real use case that should be addressed in a better way than just helping you quit all your apps faster. Is the real problem that you need to close apps faster? Not really. The real problem is you are sharing a device with multiple people, one of which is a child, which in and of itself should have special considerations. As you said, this is something a lot of people deal with—especially on iPads and Apple should address since not everyone can buy an iPad for every one in the family.

        The real solution you want is some form of user switching. Save home screen setup, account login info, multitasking history, and in your case, probably set up some restrictions.

        I tried checking out “Restrictions” settings. I got my hopes up that this might solve your problem but not really. Most of the options seem like they would be great for you to have while your son is using your device. Limit him from making in app purchases, not have access to safari and many other great things. The thing is it’s not like a child mode you can toggle on and off as easy as do not disturb. After I turned it off, all my icons were messed up and when I went to turn it back on it didn’t save any of the previous settings. Not to mention did not clear app history. I can see why no one would use this if they just wanted to have an iPad for them and the family. It’s like meant for it to be a dedicated device for the kids.

        But man, lets talk about how that feature could be improved! Imagine it did save settings and could be quickly turned on and off. Better yet imagine multiple users and touch ID opens the device to the proper account based on finger print and your son could unlock it have it go to a restricted user. But yea. No sign of this stuff yet.

        Sorry I ranted to you about closing apps.

        ps, if you didn’t know the multitasking screen is multitouch. You can close 3 apps at a time if you swipe up on all 3 at once. Not what you wanted but maybe a little faster.

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  6. Edas Haha says:

    Airdrop doesnt work…. -.-

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  7. The Control-Center sliders now have an inertia when you slide them fast enough and lift the finger. (It was present in β4, but no one talked about it)

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    • didn’t notice before. thanks for pointing it out.

      why would they bounce it when it hits the walls? that looks bad and the screen’s brightness actually fluctuates with the animation. That’s also not how sliders work. it’s not like scrolling in a scollview where when you hit the top you go Beyond the views max y value and settle in the right value (rubber banding). Here you are going directly to the max value, bouncing back to a lesser one, then somehow defying physics and going back to the max value. Either it should just stick to the edges or when it bounces back it stays in the lesser value.

      Really, it should just stick. Stupid stuff like this makes me wonder what interaction designer is making these decisions.

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  8. Does anybody have problem with notification. There are in Not. centre but there are not shown on the screen and there is no sound ??

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  9. The option to turn parallax effect off when choosing a wallpaper has been renamed to “Perspective Zoom:”, although when you turn this off there is still the slightest movement of the icons as you move the phone.

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  10. charlievansant says:

    How is the shift key UI change not a focal point here? Since Beta 3 it’s been terrible and backwards from a shading perspective. Glad to see it back to a logical, functional key

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    • yea. it’s definitely better. Still a little confusing on the white keyboard since shift being active is the same looking as all the rest of the alphabetical keys, but it’s pretty good on the dark keyboard. Still not as clear as iOS 6 where it uses blue to really stand out but at least I’m not pulling hairs.

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  11. Thankfully doing a ‘spotlight search’ now defaults to the standard keyboard vs using the last used keyboard. No more starting a search, changing the keyboard from emoji, then being able to type. Like it!!!

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  12. beta still doesn’t let you change home screens until after unlock animation fully ends. I don’t get this stuff. I mean a first gen iPad running 5.1.1 can change home screens the instant it unlocks. You can see the animating icons swipe to the side as you do it. iOS 7 you have to wait for that ridiculous animation to end. Even when it looks done it still can take more than one swipe : [

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  13. eduardofandangle says:

    “G’day Siri. Can you tell me where the local watering hole is?”

    “Yeah mate. Just chuck a lefty past the surf club and follow ya nose for a couple a clicks and ya can’t miss it. If you haven’t seen it by the time ya hit the point, just say stuff it, kick back and take a load off.”

    (Looking forward to the Australian Siri).

    Like