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Apple rolls out iOS 7.1 update

The update brings improvements to the fingerprint scanner and some tweaks to Siri to deliver a more Australian twang.

Apple has released an update to iOS, bringing the latest version to 7.1. There are bug fixes and usability tweaks, including an update to Siri that gives the personal assistant a distinctly Australian voice.

(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

This is the first major update to the operating system since iOS 7 was released in September 2013. The look and feel of the interface is maintained, but there are some tweaks to elements like button shapes and animations.

Siri gets some of the meaty updates, including "more natural" male and female voices for Mandarin Chinese, UK English, Australian English and Japanese. In iOS 7.1, users can also hold down the home button while they talk to Siri and release it when done, so it knows when you have stopped talking. Previously, Siri would interpret a pause in the conversation as indication that you had finished speaking.

For iTunes Radio, Apple's music-streaming service, a search field above the featured stations section lets you create stations based on an artist or song, while buying albums with one press is now possible, rather than only buying a single.

iOS 7.1 also brings Apple's CarPlay to the fore, giving users the ability to use their iPhone to power a touchscreen display in selected vehicles.

The fingerprint reader should be more accurate than before, with faster response times. There is also a new camera setting that will automatically activate HDR photography on the iPhone 5s. Plus, users of the older iPhone 4 should see performance improvements.

The full list of updates can be found on Apple's support site. iOS 7.1 is available now across compatible devices through iTunes or over the air.