iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 is now available. Here’s everything new!

iOS 14 2 update

iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 is now available. After testing the firmware with four Beta versions and a Release Candidate, Apple has finally made it public.

Unlike other incremental iOS and iPadOS upgrades, iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 ships with considerable improvements. There’s something for everyone: emoji lovers, music lovers, wallpaper junkies… you get it.

The update should appear under SettingsGeneralSoftware Update as an over-the-air download. If it doesn’t appear, try again after a few minutes. Sometimes, it takes a while for a new update to roll out to everyone.

That being said, let’s take a look at what’s waiting for you on the other side.

What’s new in iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2?

iOS and iPadOS 14.2 comes with a ton of new features that can change the way you interact with your smartphone.

New wallpapers

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There are 8 new wallpapers in iOS 14.2, all support Dark Mode.

New wallpapers in an incremental update are a rare occurrence. Usually, Apple only releases new wallpapers alongside major releases like iOS 14.0.

Surprisingly, though, Apple has included eight new wallpapers this time that also support the Dark Mode functionality the company debuted in iOS 13. The new wallpapers include landscapes and colorful illustrations. Moreover, each new wallpaper has its own dark version, meaning they switch appearance to better fit with the dark theme of iOS and iPadOS’ interface.

For instance, one of the wallpapers that showcases a rock formation changes from day to night when Dark Mode is enabled. Similarly, the wallpapers featuring illustrations also change from bright elements to darker elements.

Right now, although, these are the only wallpapers (apart from original ones) that support Dark Mode. Hopefully, Apple will expand its library with more such wallpapers going ahead.

Shazam Integration

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Shazam Music Recognition Toggle in Control Center

Apple acquired the music recognition company Shazam back in 2018 for $400 Million. Before the acquisition, Shazam was available as its own app in the App Store. However, after Apple grabbed it, the company integrated the service into iOS and recently, iPadOS.

Shazam, as a result, was only available within Siri, up until Apple released iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 today. Now, there’s a new Music Recognition feature available as a toggle within Control Center that you’ll first need to add from the Control Center settings in the Settings app.

Tapping on the Music Recognition toggle will automatically begin listening for a song playing in the background and try to name it. The result will appear as a notification. I think I would’ve liked it better if the Shazam toggle played the signature Shazam animation while in the process of recognizing music.

Control Center music suggestions

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iOS 14 also comes with an updated music palate within the Control Center. When no music is playing, the Control Center displays music suggestions in the form of album covers arranged in a neat grid. You can scroll through the grid to browse a bevy of suggestions from both the Music app as well as Podcasts.

This new addition is useful when you quickly want to play some Music tailored to your needs. All you need to do is hop over to the Control Center, long press on the music palate and tap on a suggestion.

New emojis

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New emojis in iOS 14.2.

Emojis are an important part of our daily smartphone usage. And iOS 14.2 adds over 100 new of them. The emojis include a new pinched finger that has been a subject for memes marketing it as the “frustrated Italian hand gesture” emoji.

Apart from that, other emojis include a smiling face with a tear, lungs, Dodo (the extinct bird), an anatomical heart, a disguised face, and much more. You can see the entire list over at Emojipedia.

People Detection

Today’s update comes with a new People Detection feature that uses the iPhone 12 Pro’s LiDAR scanner to detect people ahead. This is a useful accessory feature for visually disabled people. It enables them to steer clear of people in their way, which is essential while practicing social distancing.

However, since it requires the LiDAR scanner, People Detection is only available on the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max. It uses Apple’s ARKit People Occlusion feature to make out the distance between your iPhone and a person ahead. This is only possible with a LiDAR scanner. Interestingly, since the iPad Pro 2020 also features a LiDAR scanner, it also supports the new feature.

You can access it by opening the Magnifier app by using the new Back Tap feature or by triple-clicking the side button. When a person is detected in close proximity ahead, your iPhone will use a combination of sounds and haptics to alert you. You can customize the sound and haptic options depending on if a person is close or far or at a threshold distance defined by you from the Settings app.

Although, if you are depending on the People Detection feature to guide you at night, note that it won’t work.

Updated Apple Watch app icon

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The Apple Watch icon now features a Solo Loop glyph instead of a loop with a buckle.

Apple held its Time Flies event on September 15. At the event, the Cupertino company announced new Apple Watch and iPad models. One of the announcements included the new Solo loop for the Apple Watch.

It’s a singular loop that does not contain any buckles or connection points. Instead it’s a stretchable band that you can just plop on your wrist, making wearing the band easy and quick.

iOS 14.2 now features an updated Apple Watch app icon that features the new Solo loop instead of the old loop with the buckle. It’s a small change but effectively highlights Apple’s attention to detail.

Optimized Battery Charging for AirPods

Apple introduced Optimized Battery Charging for AirPods quitely alongside iOS 14 back in June. However, even though iOS 14 launched en masse, the feature wasn’t available. Today, iOS 14.2 finally includes that.

Optimized Battery charging is an essential charging feature that learns from your charging schedule. It will only charge the AirPods to 80% initially. The rest 20% will fill up some time before you disconnect the AirPods. This procedure preserves battery health in the long run.

Apple first introduced Optimized Battery Charging for the iPhone alongside iOS 13 in 2019.

Headphone audio level notifications

Headphone audio level notifications have been present in iOS for a long time. However, in the iOS 14.2 update they are renamed to “Headphone Safety” from “Reduce Loud Sounds.”

These notifications notify you if the volume of sound playing through your headphones is too loud that it causes hearing impairment. It’s a handy feature that’s worth having on your iPhone.

Intercom Support

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Source: Apple

Apple announced a new HomePod mini alongside new iPhones at its October 13 event. One of the major announcements regarding HomePod was Intercom, a new communication feature for your home.

Intercom enables multiple HomePods in your home to interact with each other by sending and receiving voice messages. For example, you can send an Intercom message using a HomePod situated in the living room to a HomePod situated in the bedroom. This feature also allows you to send Intercom messages to your HomePods via your other Apple devices including iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, etc.

While Apple introduced Intercom back in early October, it is only now that the feature is gaining support for the entire ecosystem (Apple launched Intercom with HomePod firmware 14.1). Thanks to iOS 14.2, the new firmware now adds support for the Intercom feature.

Support for connecting HomePod to Apple TV 4K for stereo, surround sound, and Dolby Atmos Audio

HomePod Black

iOS 14.2 introduces the ability to connect your HomePod to an Apple TV 4K box to enable stereo, surround sound, and Dolby Atmos Audio. Apple says the sound is best experienced when two HomePods are connected to the Apple TV 4K box together, forming a pair.

It’s worth noting that this feature is only available on the original HomePod and not the upcoming HomePod mini as the latter does not contain adequate hardware to produce surround sound.

Which devices are eligible to receive iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2?

These are the devices that support iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2. If your device isn’t listed here, it’s not supported by the new firmware.

  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone SE (1st generation)
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation)
  • iPod touch (7th generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th generation)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st generation)
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch
  • iPad (7th generation)
  • iPad (6th generation)
  • iPad (5th generation)
  • iPad mini (5th generation)
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad Air 2

What bugs does iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 fixes?

As always, every iterative iOS and iPadOS release fixes some bugs that were persistent in the previous version. Although iOS 14.1 fixed some bugs, it also could have let some slide. Worse, it could have introduced new ones. That being said, iOS 14.2 brings along some bux fixes. If you had these issues with your iPhone, rest assured that they will get fixed when you update to iOS 14.2.

  • Apps could be out of order on the Home Screen dock: If the apps you assigned to your dock appeared out of order, they’ll probably behave now.
  • Camera viewfinder may appear black when launched: This is a common bug in iOS that pops up every now and then. It’s good to know that iOS 14.2 reportedly fixes it.
  • The keyboard on the Lock Screen could miss touches when trying to enter the passcode: This has been the most annoying bug for me so far.
  • Reminders could default to times in the past
  • Photos widget may not display content: iOS 14 introduced home screen widgets. The Photos widget, in particular, had a bevy of issues with it, one of those being the widget unable to display any content at all.
  • Weather widget could display the high temperature in Celsius when set to Fahrenheit: This is a dumb bug. But bugs are supposed to be dumb.
  • Next-hour precipitation chart description in Weather could incorrectly indicate when precipitation stops: This could have had considerable implications for people who rely on precipitation data from the Weather app.
  • Voice Memos recordings are interrupted by incoming calls: A rather outrageous bug that I’m thankful is now fixed.
  • The screen could be black during Netflix video playback: This has occurred to me and some of my friends. Glad it’s fixed.
  • Apple Cash could fail to send or receive money when asked via Siri: It was an important issue that needed to be taken care of. However, I wonder how many people use Siri to send Apple Pay Cash to others.
  • Apple Watch app may unexpectedly close when opened.
  • Workout GPS routes or Health data are prevented from syncing between Apple Watch and iPhone for some users: This was a big deal for many health-centric users affected by this bug. Glad it’s fixed. Our friends over at MyHealthyApple are certainly elated.
  • Audio is incorrectly labeled as “Not Playing” in the CarPlay Dashboard
  • Devices could be prevented from charging wirelessly: MacRumors reported today that some Qi-compatible chargers are facing issues charging the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. I hope this update fixes it.
  • Exposure Notifications is disabled when restoring iPhone from iCloud Backup or transferring data to a new iPhone using iPhone Migration

Should you install iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2?

iOS 14.2 further refines the iPhone experience by introducing new features and fixing older, problematic ones. It also introduces an interesting roster of new emojis. That being said, it’s definitely worth upgrading.

New iOS updates also often secretly patch security issues present in previous versions, further ensuring your privacy and security. Therefore, it’s always suggested to keep your iPhone and iPad updated to the latest version of iOS and iPadOS.

Apple’s Official Release Notes for iOS and iPadOS 14.2

“iOS 14.2 includes the following improvements for your iPhone:

  • Over 100 new emoji, including animals, food, faces, household objects, musical instruments, gender-inclusive emoji, and more
  • Eight new wallpapers in both light and dark mode versions
  • Magnifier can detect people nearby, and report their distance using the LiDAR sensor included in iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • Support for iPhone 12 Leather Sleeve with MagSafe
  • Optimized battery charging for AirPods to slow the rate of battery aging by reducing the time your AirPods spends fully charged
  • Headphone audio level notifications to alert you when audio level could impact your hearing
  • New AirPlay controls to stream entertainment throughout your home
  • Intercom support with HomePod and HomePod mini using iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, and CarPlay
  • Ability to connect HomePod to Apple TV 4K for stereo, surround sound, and Dolby Atmos audio
  • Option to provide statistics about Exposure Notifications, without identifying you, to participating Public Health Authorities

This release also fixes the following issues:

  • Apps could be out of order on the Home Screen dock
  • Camera viewfinder may appear black when launched
  • The keyboard on the Lock Screen could miss touches when trying to enter the passcode
  • Reminders could default to times in the past
  • Photos widget may not display content
  • Weather widget could display the high temperature in Celsius when set to Fahrenheit
  • Next-hour precipitation chart description in Weather could incorrectly indicate when precipitation stops
  • Voice Memos recordings are interrupted by incoming calls
  • The screen could be black during Netflix video playback
  • Apple Cash could fail to send or receive money when asked via Siri
  • Apple Watch app may unexpectedly close when opened
  • Workout GPS routes or Health data are prevented from syncing between Apple Watch and iPhone for some users
  • Audio is incorrectly labeled as “Not Playing” in the CarPlay Dashboard
  • Devices could be prevented from charging wirelessly
  • Exposure Notifications is disabled when restoring iPhone from iCloud Backup or transferring data to a new iPhone using iPhone Migration

For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website: support.apple.com/kb/HT201222