Apple Continues to Refine iOS 7 Design with iOS 7.1 Beta 3

Apple on Tuesday seeded to developers the third beta of the upcoming iOS 7.1. While the update is anticipated to provide many bug fixes for Apple’s latest mobile operating system, testers quickly noticed several design changes between the second and third beta builds.

MacRumors provides a nice roundup of the various reports from developers, and notes changes to the keyboard colors and fonts, stock icon colors, and slightly new layouts for the Phone app.

iOS 7.1 Beta 2 vs Beta 3iOS 7.0.4 (left) versus iOS 7.1 Beta 3 (right)

The changes in the Phone app are the most visible, and include the replacement of rectangular buttons for declining, accepting, and placing calls with circular buttons that match the size of the numeric dial pad. This trend continues on the “power off” screen (accessed by holding down the lock button): gone are the rectangles, in come the circles.

Parallax motion detractors will also appreciate a new option to turn the feature off when selecting a new wallpaper. Following the launch of iOS 7, some users reported motion sickness due to the new parallax wallpaper feature and zooming animations displayed when switching between apps. These users, along with those who simply didn’t like the new look, could previously turn the effects off by going to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion. With iOS 7.1 Beta 3, instead of navigating to that esoteric location, users can choose to enable or disable parallax right when choosing their wallpaper.

There are many other minor layout and color tweaks to be found in the new beta, so be sure to check out the full roundup. iOS 7.1 is still in beta, of course, so everything is eligible to change before the public launch, but it’s good to see that Apple is still working to refine the significant design changes the company introduced with iOS 7.

As for when non-developers will get a chance to play around with the final build, it may be quite a wait. Recent reports suggest major new features, such as iOS in the Car support, could yet find their way into 7.1, with sources claiming the update might not land until March.