Not long ago, Apple released iOS 7.1 beta 2 for developers, and now we're hearing that the prerelease software includes a toggle button in the Settings app labeled “Car Display.” It seems, then, that Apple is set to launch its anticipated “iOS in the Car” feature with iOS 7.1, once the software reaches the general public in early 2014.

You can see the new button for yourself in the above screenshot, which reached us from 9to5Mac. The website explains that the new button appears under the Restrictions pane in the Settings app on iDevices running iOS 7.1 beta 2, and adds:

We also understand from multiple sources that Apple has greatly increased the amount of iOS in the Car references in both iOS 7.1 beta 1 and in the new beta 2.

Back in the summer, Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook noted that iOS in the Car is one “key focus” of Apple's, explaining:

I see it as very important. It’s a part of the ecosystem. Just like the App Store is a key part of the ecosystem. And iTunes, and all of our content are key. And the services we provide from messaging to Siri and so forth – having something in the automobile is very, very important. It’s something that people want, and I think Apple can do this in a unique way – better than anyone else. It’s a key focus for us.

As a reminder, the feature allows users to connect their iDevice to an in-car display using either a wired or wireless connection; from here, the compatible display allows users to interact with Apple's iOS either directly, or indirectly using Siri Eyes Free.

Also over the summer, we heard Apple would begin supporting iOS in the Car in either iOS 7.1 or iOS 7.2, both of which are scheduled for a 2014 release. However, based on the aforementioned beta software, it looks like the Cupertino, Calif. company is indeed planning on adding support for the feature sooner rather than later.

Besides the above toggle button, iOS 7.1 beta 2 makes a number of minor changes to Apple's iOS. We explained earlier today:

Changes made in iOS 7.1 beta 2 are indeed minor, as you'd expect. Bug fixes for tones have been applied, and the Touch ID options in the built-in Settings app have also been moved from the General tab over to the application's main menu.

There's a new “spring” animation for Control Center, and a “Button Shapes” option can be enabled in order to highlight touchable areas of the iDevice's screen. Plus, the “dark keyboard” toggle appears to have been removed from the Accessibility tab in the Settings app.

In short, there's nothing (much) to see here. Hopefully full iOS in the Car support will make iOS 7.1 more interesting once it reaches the general public, presumably in January.

We'll keep you updated with further information as we receive it.

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