With Release Of iOS 7.1 Beta 3, Apple Favors Circular Buttons, Changes To Phone & “Power Off” Screens

Apple is continuing to tweak the interface to its iOS 7 mobile operating system, it seems, as today’s release of the iOS 7.1 beta 3 build indicates. In this latest update, the company has revamped the phone dialer, in-call screen, and power off screen, with a tendency to favor circular buttons where there were once rectangular ones. Also added are new options for setting the wallpaper, and gradient changes to the icons for the Facetime, Messages and Phone apps, among other things.

The latest build follows two others, the first released in November, with beta 2 arriving just last month. These brought about minor interface tweaks, including the removal of the darker keyboard option, and more. With today’s release, the most visible change – at least for consumers, who already took some time to warm up to the visual overall that was iOS 7 – are updates to several of the more commonly used screens on the iPhone.

Screens associated with phone calls are getting a makeover, with round green and red buttons at the bottom of the dialer and call-in-progress screen, respectively. When receiving an incoming call, the “Decline” and “Accept” options are also now just round buttons, with the “Remind Me” and “Message” option as smaller, white icons just above.

Thanks to iClarified.com, you can see great before and after’s of all these changes to the phone interface.

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Meanwhile, the “Slide to power off” screen has also been revamped, and the screen will even dim as you slide the button over to the right.

More minor changes include a new wallpaper picker with a motion on/off setting, slightly darker gradients on the green icons for Messages, Facetime and Phone, updated Repeat and Shuffle buttons, new backspace/shift highlights, and a bolder keyboard. The update also fixes bugs related to setting up a new iCloud account during the setup assistant, problems with audiobooks playing in the Music app, but may cause other issues, including the ability to send iMessages, which will sometimes fail upon first try.

Of course, what many are hoping for when Apple ships the 7.1 build are backend improvements that will improve the experience of using the software, which today still suffers from bugs that cause the phone to freeze or even restart. Recently, Google Ventures’ MG Siegler (also a TechCrunch contributor, and longtime Apple columnist) chronicled these problems on his personal blog, saying that iOS 7, as it stands now, is “not up to snuff.”

7.1 may resolve some of these bugs, and given how regularly they occur – at least for some users (yes, myself included) – it’s hopeful that the public build will ship sooner rather than later.

Image credits: 9to5mac.com; iClarified.com