(Pocket-lint) - Apple has released two software updates - iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 - for the iPhone and iPad. These are major updates to the iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 operating systems and follow the launch of iOS 14.1 and iPadOS 14.1. You can grab them over the air through the Settings app.
How to update to iOS 14.2 or iPadOS 14.2
You can download either update for free on all eligible devices by going to Settings > General > Software Update.
What's new in iOS 14.2 and iPad 14.2?
New emoji: Bubble tea, plunger, more
Both iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 include new emoji characters, including an anatomical heart, bell pepper, black cat, bubble tea, dodo, feather, fly, hut, mammoth, ninja, pinched fingers, pinata, plunger, polar bear, potted plant, smiling face with tear, tamale, wand, and more.
Intercom and other HomePod features
Apple said iOS 14.2 includes support for Intercom, which turns the HomePod, HomePod mini, and other devices into intercoms for throughout your home. It lets you send and receive spoken messages through HomePod speakers or iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, and CarPlay. To activate Intercom, simply say: "Hey Siri, Intercom" followed by your message. You can choose specific HomePods or devices to send a message.
Speaking of the HomePod, the full-size version can now connect Apple TV 4K for stereo, surround sound, and Dolby Atmos audio.
Control Center gets Music Recognition
You get a new Music Recognition option in Control Center. (You can add Music Recognition to Control Center via the Settings app.) This integrates the Apple-owned Shazam app in the iOS operating system. Music Recognition lets you identify music playing around you, whether in apps or while wearing AirPods. To activate it in Control Center, tap on the Shazam icon. Much easier than asking Siri or opening the Shazam app, right?
You'll also see a redesigned Now Playing widget in the Control Center that lists recently played albums. AirPlay got a redesign, too, that makes it easier to simultaneously play music across multiple AirPlay 2-compatible devices.
AirPods battery improvements
If you own AirPods, the iOS 14.2 update adds optimised battery charging, which slows battery aging, by reducing the amount of time they need to fully charge.
iPad Air A14 camera functionality
The iPadOS 14.2 update adds new A14 camera functionality for iPad Air owners. Introduced on the iPhone 12 lineup, it has Scene Detection, which uses intelligent image recognition to identify objects to improve photos, while Auto FPS reduces the eframe rate while recording video for better low-light capture.
People Detection accessibility feature
Those with low vision get People Detection, an accessibility feature in the Magnifier app that uses the camera to let iPhone users know where other people are in relation to them, which is incredibly handy during a time when everyone should still be social distancing.
Yearly Apple Card spending history option
The iOS 14.2 update lets Apple Card users see a yearly spending history option. Before, spending activity was limited to a weekly or monthly summary.
New wallpapers for iPhone
There are eight new wallpapers available in iOS 14.2 for dark and light modes.
Is that it?
Nope. Apple also addressed a number of bugs.
Want to know more?
Check out our guides on iOS 14 and iPadOS 14: