iOS 7.1 due in March: Battery, security, and ‘Screen of Death’ bugs should all be fixed

medium_9873781113Legions of fanbois were thrilled with the cute visual appeal of iOS 7 when Apple first rolled it out late last year, but this excitement quickly evaporated when users began seeing numerous bugs that affected their iDevices’ performance.

When the update came out, many iPhone 4, 4S, and 5 users complained of excessive battery drainage even when their device wasn’t in use, something that was attributed to the many features that were turned on by default. While altering the settings of features like the parallax effect (by reducing the motion) helps slow down the battery drainage, turning things off can only do so much. Other users reported getting motion sickness from using their iOS 7 upgraded device, while others suffered far worse, seeing their devices crippled by the so-called black or white “Screen of Death.”

It might sound like an illness that’s exclusively afflicts Windows PC users, but the iOS 7 update delivered a new variant to some unfortunate fanbois. What happens is that when an affected device’s battery drops down below a certain percentage – somewhere between 25-30 percent – the phone basically freezes and displays either a black or white screen with the Apple logo.  If you try to turn it off by holding down the power and home buttons simultaneously then turning it on  again, you will experience the same thing until the device completely dies or you plug it in to get more juice. And even if the battery gets fully charged, the device will go through the same ordeal once the battery drops back down to between 25-30 percent.

There’s also the security bugs. The first bug affects ‘Touch ID’, and allows others to compromise the touch sensor security feature of the iPhone 5S with just a few tweaks. Another bug affects the Find My iPhone feature on iDevices, allowing anyone to turn it off by compromising the phone’s iCloud account.

These are just some of the bugs iOS 7 users are suffering from, and users cannot wait for Apple to fix them so they can get on with their lives. Unfortunately, Apple is all set to prolong that suffering until March at the earliest, which is a whole month away. According to reports, Apple is scrambling to get iOS 7.1 ready for launch, the first major update to the platform since it was released. In Apple’s developer forum, the update is said to be in its fifth beta and will soon be ready for release.

iOS 7.1 will reportedly include fixes for the security bugs mentioned above, and possibly for the battery issues. Other features will include the ability to completely turn off the parallax effect with a new setting called “perspective zoom”.  Currently, users can only reduce the motion of these effects.

The keyboard will also be getting a new look with bolder letters, and the shift and backspace keys will be highlighted. As for the call interface, circular icons will be introduced, and the “slide to unlock” and “slide to power off” functions will both get new animations. Finally, the Calendar app will get a new events list to make it easier to view these at a glance.

As for those who’re fond of the dark keyboard found in the Accessibility settings, this feature is unfortunately going to be removed with the iOS 7.1 update. So enjoy it while it lasts.

photo credit: Jan Persiel via photopin cc