Anyone can start testing iOS 14.2, along with the iPad equivalent, thanks to the new public betas released Monday by Apple.
The first developer beta of iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 went out Thursday, just a day after the full release of iOS 14. The most notable new feature in the new betas builds the Shazam music-recognition service into the Control Center.
It’s not clear what’s happening with iOS 14.1, but it isn’t part of Apple’s testing program for developers.
What’s new in iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 beta 1
Apple’s release notes for these new prerelease versions are unhelpful. “This beta version of iPadOS 14.2 contains bug fixes and improvements,” reads the tablet version.
But developers have discovered that this version lets users add “Music Recognition” to the iPhone’s Control Center. Tap on the icon to have the service identity a song playing, either nearby or on the iPhone itself. Having the stand-alone Shazam application installed on the device isn’t necessary.
Shazam was once a startup, but Apple purchased it in 2018.
Whither iOS 14.1?
Apple went straight from allowing beta testers to try iOS 14 to seeding iOS 14.2. Version 14.1 never went through this process.
It’s possible that version number is being reserved for the release of the iPhone 12. Apple’s next-generation handset is expected in October, and it’ll apparently debut running iOS 14.1.
Something similar might be occurring with iPadOS 14.1. On Tuesday, Apple unveiled the iPad Air 4, but this tablet won’t reach customers’ hands until October. An iPadOS version could be on reserve for it, too.
New betas for Apple Watch and Apple TV too
Two other products from this company also received fresh betas Thursday, a day after watchOS 7 and tvOS 14 debuted. Apple seeded watchOS 7.1 beta 1 as well as tvOS 14.2 beta 1 to developers.
It’s not yet known what new features are included in either of those betas.
iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 currently reserved for developers
As is Apple’s common practice, developers received first access to the latest iOS and iPadOS betas. The public versions released Monday mean you don’t need to sign up for the Apple Developer Program, which costs $99 a year, to try out the betas.
How to sign up for Apple public betas
As my colleague Killian Bell wrote, it’s simple and free to sign up for the Apple Beta Software Program. Here’s how to do it:
Signing up for early access to Apple’s upcoming releases is as simple as joining the Beta Software Program. Visit the official website, click the Sign up button, and log in with your Apple ID. You will also need to click Accept on the Beta Software Program Agreement to continue.
You can then choose which version of Apple’s software you want early access to and enroll your device. You’ll get a notification when a beta update is available, and you’ll be able to download and install it from Software Update on your iPhone or iPad.
However, running beta software — especially the earliest version — isn’t for everyone. The public betas usually prove more stable than the developer betas, but they do contain bugs. Ideally you would not use them on a mission-critical device.
You can get detailed info on running public betas in our previous post, How to get the iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 public betas today.
Editor’s note: We originally published this story on Sept. 17. We updated it on Sept. 21 after Apple released the first public betas.