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Apple snuck out iOS 14.2 beta 1 while you were sleeping – download it now

Published Sep 18th, 2020 7:31AM EDT
iOS 14 Beta 1
Image: Apple Inc.

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  • Apple has quietly released iOS 14.2 beta 1, which is available to anyone with access to a developer account.
  • The developer release includes a few notable user interface changes for media playback controls on the Lock screen and Control Center.
  • Shazam now gets its own Control Center shortcuts, which will work with any music source, including the iPhone, and even when headphones are in use.

Apple surprised developers and regular iPhone, iPad, and watchOS users earlier this week when it announced that the final versions of iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and watchOS 7 would roll out. In fairness, the new iPhone and iPad operating systems arrive in mid-September, but they usually join the latest iPhones. 2020 is a different year as the novel coronavirus pandemic changed the rules of the game. Apple unveiled only new iPads and Apple Watch models during its September 15th event, leaving out the iPhone 12. The new handsets will launch next month, and Apple will soon announce a different virtual event to announce the handsets.

Apple continued its software surprises early on Friday, rolling out iOS 14.2 beta 1 to developers. You can download the new release on iPhone right now, as long as you have access to a developer profile. If you still have the profile installed on your iPhone, following the final iOS 14 release, you’re good to go for iOS 14.2. You’ll get all the upcoming beta releases as long as you don’t opt out of it.

iOS 14.2 is expected to be the first major iOS 14 update going forward, containing more than your usual bug fixes. 9to5Mac put together a quick video that demos the new changes that Apple has planned for iOS 14.2.

We’re mostly looking at interface changes supposed to improve the media playback experience. The Lock screen features a new UI for playback controls and improved AirPlay 2, and you can expect several changes in Control Center concerning media playback. You’ll see all the other AirPlay 2 devices connected to the network, as well as a source icon indicator that indicates whether you’re listening to Podcasts or Music.

More interesting is the new Shazam Music Recognition toggle that can be added to Control Center. Press the button, and Shazam will tell you what music is playing, even if you’re using the same device to play music, and even if you’re using the iPhone with AirPods or headphones.

iOS 14 beta 1 also brings an Improve Handwashing option in the analytics menu and a new Watch app icon that features the new Solo Loop that Apple has just introduced. The Magnifier app gets a people detection feature, and the Reduce Loud Sounds setting has been renamed to Headphone Safety.

Apple will surely talk about iOS 14 during the iPhone 12 announcement event, at which point it might address some of the features planned for the near future, including iOS 14.2. Meanwhile, you can download the release yourself if you’re on the developer channel. A public beta release should follow soon enough.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.