The iOS 14.2 update can be downloaded for free and is available wirelessly in the Settings app on all eligible devices. To access the new software, go to Settings> General> Software Update. Apple also released iOS 12.4.9 for older devices.
The new iOS update from Apple offers a number of new functions.
Apple traditionally updates iOS with new emojis every fall, and iOS 14.2 is the emoji update. iOS and iPadOS 14.2 include new Emoji 13 characters with options like smiling face with tears, ninja, pinched fingers, anatomical heart, black cat, mammoth, polar bear, dodo, fly, bell pepper, tamale, bubble tea, potted plant, piñata, piston, Magic wand, pen, hut and more. A full list can be found here.
In addition to emoji, iOS 14.2 supports intercom, which turns the HomePod, HomePod mini, and other devices into intercoms that can be used throughout the house.
With Intercom, family members can communicate with each other at home by sending and receiving voice messages through HomePod speakers or through iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods and CarPlay. The intercom can be activated by saying “Hey Siri, intercom” to activate it, followed by a message. It can even be used when people are away from home.
You can select specific HomePods or devices in the household to send a message to everyone in the household, or reply to an intercom message sent by someone else. On devices such as the iPhone and iPad, intercom messages appear as notifications with the option to listen to an audio message.
Also in connection with “HomePod”, the standard “HomePod” in full size can now be connected to Apple TV 4K for stereo, surround sound and Dolby Atmos audio.
Music recognition and new playback widget
There is a new music detection switch in the Control Center with which Apple’s own Shazam app can be integrated into the iOS operating system. With music recognition, you can discover music playing around you and recognize music in apps, even if you have AirPods on.
Music recognition can be added to the Control Center via the Settings app. It can be used by activating the Control Center and then tapping the Shazam icon to recognize songs. It’s easier than asking “Siri” or opening the Shazam app.
There is a redesigned Now Playing widget in the Control Center that lists recently played albums that you may want to listen to when no music is playing. There is also a redesigned interface for AirPlay, which makes it easier to play music on multiple “AirPlay” 2 compatible devices at the same time.
AirPods optimized charging of the battery
AirPods owners should know that the iOS 14.2 update adds optimized battery charging for the AirPods, which slows down battery aging by reducing the time it takes for the AirPods to fully charge. The function monitors your usage habits and avoids a full charge until the “AirPods” are needed.
A14 camera functions for iPad
For iPad Air owners, the “iPadOS 14” update offers new A14 camera functionality, which was also introduced in the iPhone 12 series. Scene recognition uses intelligent image recognition to identify objects to enhance photos, and Auto FPS reduces the frame rate when recording video to improve recording in low light.
For the visually impaired, Apple has added a new accessibility feature to the Magnifying Glass app for recognizing people who are using the camera to let PiPhone users know how far away other people are. This is a useful social distancing tool.
Apple Watch app changes
For the Apple Watch app on the “iPhone”, Apple has slightly optimized the design and updated the watch with one of the new Solo Loop Apple Watch bands that are included in the Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE.
Apple Card functions
With the iOS 14.2 update, Apple Card users will get an annual spending history option that allows them to see how much they have spent in the current calendar year and how much daily money they have made. Prior to iOS 14.2, spending activity for Apple Card was limited to a weekly or monthly summary.
Eight new background options are available in iOS 14.2, with both artistic and realistic scenes with different appearances for dark and light modes.
For more information on all the new features in iOS 14, please see our iOS 14 Roundup.
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