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Apple has already released a beta of iOS 14.2, making it available to developers just one day after the public release of iOS 14 and then to public testers just a few days later. In addition to iOS and iPadOS 14.2, Apple made beta versions of tvOS 14.2 and watchOS 7.1 available.
It appears that iOS 14.1, which Apple appeared to skip past in releasing the 14.2 beta, is intended to support the features of the new iPhone 12. The GM release is available for developers to download, but there has been no beta test. It’s likely that iOS 14.1 will ship on iPhone 12 models from the factory, and iPadOS 14.1 on the iPad Air, but everyone else will jump from 14.0 to 14.2.
Update 10/14/20: Apple has released the third beta of iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2.
What’s new in iOS 14.2 beta
So far, it appears that iOS 14.2 is focused on media features for Control Center.
The most significant addition is a new Shazam toggle for Control Center. You’ll have to add the “Music Recognition” feature to your Control Center in Settings > Control Center first, but then you’re just a swipe and a tap away from having Shazam identify songs in the background. You’ll get notifications when new songs are identified, and it’s easy to add them to Apple Music.
There are also new media controls in Control Center, including content suggestions if you expand the “Now Playing” control while nothing is playing.
The new emojis previewed earlier in the year are included in iOS and iPadOS 14.2, starting with Beta 2.
The Magnifier accessibility feature now has an optional people detection function that can identify people in view and estimate their distance to you.
How to get the iOS 14.2 beta
If you’re a registered developer, you can go to the Apple developer downloads page on the device upon which you wish to install the beta and download the beta profile from there. You can also download restore images.
If you’re not a developer, you’ll be able to get a profile for the public beta test by going to beta.apple.com using the device upon which you wish to run the beta. After downloading the profile, open Settings, then tap General, and scroll down to tap on Profile. You can select and activate the beta profile there.
You’ll have to restart your iPhone to activate the profile. Then you can get new versions of the beta, when available, but opening Settings and selecting General and then Software Update.
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Jason has written professionally about technology for over 20 years. His goal is to figure out how complicated technology works and explain it in a way anyone can understand.