Apple has released iOS 14.2 today. It includes multiple new features as well as some important bug fixes and security updates. Among other things, this release introduces over 100 new emojis.
You’ll find a transgender flag, a smiling face with tear, pinched fingers, two people hugging, some insects and animals, a disguised face and more. When it comes to new variations, there will be a Mx Claus, a gender-inclusive alternative to Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus. Tuxedos are no longer limited to men and veils are no longer limited to women — you’ll be able to send an emoji with a woman wearing a tuxedo and a man wearing a veil.
Today’s release also includes a new accessibility feature for blind users who have an iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max. Thanks to the built-in LiDAR sensor, you can use your iPhone to detect the presence of and distance to people in the view of the iPhone’s camera.
While it is still useful beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, you can use it to receive an alert when there’s someone in front of you that is more than six feet away, and another one if they come closer to you. In addition to stereo audio alerts, you can set up a haptic pulse that goes faster as the person gets closer.
TechCrunch’s Devin Coldewey has more details on the new feature:
iOS 14.2 also adds some minor features, such as new wallpapers, headphone audio level notifications when the volume is too high and redesigned controls for AirPlay.
When Apple introduced the HomePod Mini, the company talked about a new Intercom feature that lets you interact with another Apple user in your house. Today’s software updates add Intercom support for the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods and CarPlay.
If you have AirPods, you can now enable optimized battery charging. It works like optimized battery charging on your iPhone. If you plug your AirPods before going to bed, they won’t charge at full speed. Instead, your iPhone can tell your AirPods to charge to 100% right before you wake up — it should improve your battery life.
Apple is also releasing iPadOS 14.2 and watchOS 7.1. Apple Watch users in South Korea and Russia can now try out the ECG feature with recent Apple Watch models.
Before updating, back up your device. Make sure your iCloud backup is up to date by opening the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and tapping on your account information at the top. Alternatively, you can plug your iOS device into your computer to do a manual backup in iTunes or the Finder. Once this is done, you should go to the Settings app, then ‘General’ and then ‘Software Update.’
Here’s the full iOS 14.2 changelog:
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: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222