The highly-anticipated iOS 7.1 update is expected to arrive any time before iTunes Festival at SXSW next week, says sources.

If the reports and rumors spreading around the iTunes Festival, scheduled to be held from March 11 to 15 in Austin, Texas are to be believed, the release of the much awaited iOS 7.1 might just be round the corner.

The iTunes Festival would be streaming live as well as on-demand through official iOS app and iTunes for Mac or PC. It is also reported that the event will also be available on a special iTunes Festival channel on Apple TV.

The news of the release have gained momentum based on the report that iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users are now being required to install iOS 7.1 so that the first iTunes Festival can be streamed live. If this is to be believed, Apple has to race against time as the time is simply running out.

Apart from live performances by ColdPlay, Imagine Dragon and Pitbull, among many others that will be streaming for the audience’s entertainment, the event is also likely to divulge more insight into Apple’s directions for 2014.

It would be for the first time in history that Apple will host an iTunes Festival in the US. Each September, it’s held traditionally in London. It would be held as a part of SXSW, to be held in Austin, Texas, somewhere mid-March.

Though it was announced way back in November, the release of the iOS 7.1 update is awaited for a variety of reasons. It has been known to be in developer testing from November 2013, and has been through a number of beta iterations. It’s anticipated that it would support CarPlay, the innovative integration of smartphone technology into automobiles. However, the update is also eagerly awaited because it would take care of the irritating glitches and ensure bug fixes. Besides the new features, it is the improvements that the update is expected to provide and hence the anticipation building around its release.

While iOS 7.1 had a long 4-month beta, it represents the promise to effect some of the design changes for better functionality and take care of the glitches. The “call” and “end” button icons are tiny and round in place of biggish and rectangular. In addition, Apple has devised a translucent bar and white button to replace the unattractive Power Off slide bar. Although these UI changes may lure us, it’s the bug fixes which are vital. The keyboard keys may assume completely different experience. There’s likely to be a new UI for the phone dialer. New and improved icons for Phone, FaceTime and Messages apps would also probably form a part of the update.

From early February, the fifth beta has been under the phase of testing and logically enough, the release of iOS 7.1 should be ready for release “any day”, as reports seem to be suggesting. If the release of iOS 7.1 puts to rest the annoying limitations and bugs are hopefully fixed, in addition to the new features, it would indeed be worth the wait.

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