By Todd Bernhard on Wed, 03/05/2014
Anticipation has been mounting for an update to iOS 7 for several reasons. There are still some outstanding bugs that cause Safari or the iOS device to crash, and betas have been available since November. The latest rumors indicate iOS 7.1 will ship any day now because a certain app from Apple will require it.
John Gruber of DaringFireball.net is a well-connected observer. One of his informants suggests Apple will have an iTunes Festival app that will enable streaming of the SXSW conference which starts next week in Austin, Texas. That app will requires iOS 7.1, which means the O.S. update, and the new app, should be published within a week. There is a precedent. When Apple started live streaming their product announcements, they quietly updated Apple TV to enable viewing of those events.
In addition to fixing the aforementioned bugs, iOS 7.1 is expected to introduce enterprise-class mobile device managment (MDM) features that make it easier for corporations and educational institutions to administer large quantities of iOS devices. Don't expect much in the way of new functionality from what is known as a "dot" release. After all, the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) should be three months away, and if history serves as a guide, iOS 8 should be announced then. Perhaps that will introduce third party apps for Apple TV and support for new hardware to be found in an iPhone 6 such as a Near Field Communication chip?