Apple releases iOS 14.2 beta 4 for developers and HomePod 14.1

Just hours after the release of iOS 14.1, Apple released iOS 14.2 beta 4 for developers. The update will be available through a wireless update in the Settings app.

As usual, if the update doesn’t appear immediately for download, keep checking as it sometimes takes a few minutes to implement for all registered developers.

iOS 14.2 brings revamped controls that now play to the lock screen along with redesigned AirPlay 2 controls in the Control Center. Another new change in iOS 14.2 is a new Shazam switch that can be added to the Control Center.

To add Shazam’s new music recognition switch to Control Center, first make sure you are running the iOS 14.2 Developer Beta, rolled out today. Next, open the Settings app, choose “Control Center” and look for Shazam under the “More Controls” heading. You can then add the Shazam switch and rearrange it however you see fit.

We don’t know what’s new in iOS 14.2 beta 4 yet, but it will likely bring the same features as iOS 14.1, including 10-bit HDR support in the Photos app and Intercom for HomePod.

Apple Releases HomePod 14.1 Software with Siri Enhancements, Intercom Feature, and More

Apple just released HomePod Software 14.1 to the public with new features and enhancements, including Siri enhancements, the new Intercom feature, and HomePod mini compatibility and more.

iOS 14 brings Maps suggestions when the user asks HomePod for a specific location using Siri, and now you can easily open HomePod search results on iPhone with Handoff. Apple has also improved the timer and alarm feature on the HomePod, now offering options that allow you to change these settings for all of your HomePods that use Siri, as well as allowing users to set an Apple Music song as an alarm.

The new Intercom function arrives

Intercom, which was announced during Apple’s October event, is now available for all HomePod models with HomePod 14.1 software. Users can now send real-time audio messages from one HomePod to another within the same home and also to iOS devices through iCloud Family Sharing.

Additionally, with iOS 14 and HomePod Software 14.1, Apple allows users to change their default music, podcast, and audiobook apps, but this requires developers to update their apps with the new APIs.

HomePod 14.1 software is now available to all HomePod users through the Home app.

Release Notes:

Software version 14.1 includes support for HomePod mini and new Siri and Intercom features. This update also includes improvements and bug fixes.

HomePod mini

Set up and automatically transfer your Apple ID, Apple Music, Siri, and Wi-Fi settings to HomePod mini

Siri

  • Siri suggestions appear in Maps when you ask HomePod for information about a location.
  • Web search requests to HomePod can be sent from HomePod to iPhone.
  • Siri can now stop alarms, timers, and media on HomePod speakers.
  • Voice recognition support for podcasts for multiple users at home.

Intercom

  • Ask HomePod to make announcements to other HomePod speakers in your home.
  • Intercom to all HomePod speakers.
  • Intercom to a HomePod in a specific room or area.

Other improvements and fixes

  • Now you can add music to your alarms and wake up to your favorite song, playlist or radio station from Apple Music.
  • Fixes an issue where stereo pairs can sometimes play out of sync.
  • Improves reliability when using Siri to control multiple speakers.
  • Optimize Siri performance

If you detect any new changes in iOS 14.2 beta 4, or in the other new beta versions of Apple today, we would love you to leave us your comments, or write to our Twitter account @iOSMac.