iOS 14.2 ships: Apple turns on to Intercom, more
Apple has published iOS 14.2, enabling its new Intercom feature, introducing new emoji and wallpapers alongside some other enhancements (including an exciting new LiDAR feature for those with devices that support this).
Apple has also updated Macs with another public beta of Big Sur, Apple Watch and Apple TV.
Apple turns it on
The tent pole feature has to be Intercom.
This lets you communicate with others on your network using your iOS device and HomePod systems.
Essentially, you use the Home app (or Siri, just say, “Hey Siri, Intercom” and you can send a message to everyone else in your home using all available HomePod speakers.
(It is odd that you can’t automatically turn these into notifications on other devices on the network, but perhaps that’s just me…)
The idea is that you can cook the dinner for the rest of your family while they are scattered across your vast mansion, you get to tap your Apple Watch to tell them when the meal is ready…
They will then all hear the call on the HomePods they are using in whatever perfect white room in your vast, cathedral-like palace they happen to be in while listening to Novara Media, Gaslit Nation or even The Talk Show as they struggle to contain their existential, angst.
You also get the ability to connect HomePod to Apple TV 4K for stereo, surround sound, and Dolby Atmos audio. But I’d quite like more consistent support on TV for video podcasts.
Exciting for LiDAR users: Magnifier can detect people nearby, and report their distance using the LiDAR sensor included in iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th generation) and iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd generation)…
Important for COVID-19
You also gain a couple of important fixes for COVID-19:
These include an option to provide statistics about Exposure Notifications, without identifying you, to participating Public Health Authorities and a fix for the problem that disabled Exposure Notifications when restoring iPhone from iCloud Backup or transferring data to a new iPhone using iPhone Migration.
So, what else has iOS 14.2 got for you?
Here’s the list:
- You gain 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.
- Scene Detection in Camera uses intelligent image recognition to identify objects within a scene and automatically improves the photo on iPad Air (4th generation).
- Auto FPS in Camera automatically reduces the frame rate when recording video to improve low light capture and to optimize file size on iPad Air (4th generation).
- 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.
- Ability to connect HomePod to Apple TV 4K for stereo, surround sound, and Dolby Atmos audio.
- Support for iPhone 12 Leather Sleeve with MagSafe.
There’s also a bundle of fixes and probably a few other bits and pieces designed to support Apple’s other new devices.