The iOS 7.1 release date should be close as the beta 3 version of the software is now available for developers.
This latest update has a build number of 11d5127c and is available over-the-air or through Apple's developer center website. It includes Xcode 5.1 Developer Preview 3 and a new version of the Apple TV beta software.
The dark keyboard option that was added in beta 1 and removed in beta 2 has not returned in beta 3. Apple also made some slight changes to the keyboard giving the delete key a new look.
Beta 3 also brings a new look for the confirmation screen when the phone is being powered down and the Phone dialer now uses round call and end buttons instead of large rectangular ones. The incoming call screen also features these new round buttons.
More information on the update can be found here.
The iOS 7.1 release date will be set for March.
This is the first major update for the latest Apple software and it is expected to bring multiple big fixes along with new accessibility options in the form of "Button Shapes." It is unclear as to why such a long testing period is required for the software as it is already in the hands of developers.
Apple first began testing the software in the middle of November and it is being created to fix network connection issues as well as other bugs. The update has the build number 11D5115d and can be downloaded over-the-air by registered developers or through Apple's developer center website.
Some of the bugs that were fixed include one that caused all tones to sound like the default and changing the setting for Touch ID and Passcodes by moving them from General settings to the main settings menu. Calendar has a new list view toggle as well.