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Apple's stuffing a lot of improved features into iOS 7.1, just as it's filling its roster at SXSW (South By Southwest) with memorable acts. It turns out that the two may have more in common than it initially seems. Based on info from a "little birdie," John Gruber of Daring Fireball stated that Apple's dedicated app for steaming performances from SXSW's iTunes Festival will need iOS 7.1. The upshot? Considering that SXSW starts on March 11, that means we could see iOS 7.1 in the next couple of days.
In Gruber's words, "Apple's first iTunes Festival in the U.S. starts a week from today at SXSW in Austin. Apple is going to stream the performances to iOS devices using an app, but I've heard from a little birdie that the app requires iOS 7.1 (which explains why the app isn't out yet). That means iOS 7.1 should ship any day now."
It's been a long time coming. Apple's latest patch for iOS 7 has been in the works since last November, and it's gone through an impressive five betas (with the most recent dropping on February 4). Visual overhauls make up the bulk of the patch's content, ranging from new icons and enhanced shift and caps lock keys to a whole new look for the iPhone's dialer. If there's a problem with Gruber's information, though, it's that Apple hasn't sent out a "Golden Master" yet.
But if Gruber is right, then Apple needs to get into gear. Apple's first American iTunes Festival will feature music by the likes of Coldplay and Imagine Dragons, as well as classic acts like Soundgarden and Willie Nelson. The first performance is expected to kick off exactly a week from now at 7:30 p.m.
Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.