iOS 14 beta 2 adds Files widget, other tweaks


iOS 14 beta 2 adds a Files widget.
The new Files widget is the biggest change in iPadOS 14 and iOS 14 beta 2.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple seeded the second beta versions of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 exclusively to developers Tuesday. The most notable new feature appears to be a widget for the Files app, giving users access to recently used files directly from the Home screen.

The latest betas bring some small changes as well, of course. Development of these operating systems continues, with full releases expected this autumn.

iOS 14 Files widget added in beta 2

The new Files widget shines as the highlight of todays betas. It was completely absent from the first iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 betas, which Apple released to developers on the first day of this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference.

The widget gives users an option of displaying four or eight recently opened files. (It mirrors the Recents folder in the Files application.) Tapping on one of the files reopens it.

New Calendar icon and more

Apple also redesigned the icon for the Calendar application in iPadOS 14 and iOS 14 beta 2. This still shows the current date and day of the week, although the latter is now abbreviated so it can appear in a larger font.

In a similar veil, the Clock icon gains easier-to-see hands.

Apple packed in some bug fixes, too. The release notes promise “the Weather widget no longer displays weather for Cupertino instead of your current location,” for example.

These small changes come on top of all the big additions from beta 1. As announced at WWDC 2020 in June, iPhones get Home screen widgets, picture-in-picture support and more in iOS 14. iPad owners will be able to use Apple Pencil in place of a keyboard in iPadOS 14.

Testing more Apple operating systems

In addition to making iPhone and iPad devs happy, Apple also seeded to developers the second betas of macOS Big Sur beta 2, watchOS 7 beta 2 and tvOS 14 beta 2 on Tuesday. Getting access to any of these requires joining Apple’s developer program by paying a $100 annual fee.

Cupertino has not yet introduced public betas for its coming operating system upgrades. Apple should release them in the coming days, however.