I’m usually one to suggest that it’s always worth installing a new beta of an operating system because, hey, why not? Sure, you might sacrifice a little stability, but you’ll get to play with new features before everybody else. You’ll also be able to acclimate yourself with new OS changes over a longer period of time, so when the final release drops, navigating your way around your updated device is a cinch.
Hot on the heels of iOS 14, Apple has started seeding a beta of iOS 14.2 to developers. Yes, that’s not a typo; where iOS 14.1 went is a mystery for the ages, because that’s what Apple has chosen to name its latest beta. And since this beta is truly intended only for developers to play with, you’ll have to get creative if you want to try it yourself by installing a profile from betaprofiles.com.
But should you? This time around, I’m going to say “don’t bother.” Here’s why.
There’s simply not enough for you to play with in iOS 14.2 to warrant any potential instabilities, battery drains, or other issues that can come from using a beta version of an operating system. I can’t speak to the stability of iOS 14.2, having not installed it myself (since I’m following my own advice), but I don’t think what you’ll find that’s new in the operating system is worth the risk—big or small.
The primary features Apple is dropping into this first iteration of iOS 14.2 include some small UI changes for the music controls you see on your Lock screen while rocking out, including a new timestamp that appears when you’re scrolling through a track. The AirPlay menu has also been tweaked, and you’ll get new suggestions for items to listen to if you tap on the “Now Playing” box in your Control Center when nothing is actually playing. There’s also a new interface for controlling what’s playing on AirPlay-compatible devices around your home network. Feedback on these tweaks is positive, per Twitter:
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The biggest addition, though, is Shazam. Acquired by Apple in 2018, Shazam’s “we’ll identify songs playing around you in real life” magic finally finds a home in iOS 14.2, and is now accessible via a handy music-recognition toggle in your Control Center. Spoiler: It looks like the blue Shazam logo, and you’ll have to first enable it via the Control Center option in your Settings app.
That’s neat and all, and if you absolutely love Shazam’s functionality, I won’t hold you back. For most people, though, this isn’t enough to warrant an install—at least, not of the very first developer test build of iOS 14.2. If you want to live on the edge, I’d allow a few weeks for Apple to address any obvious bugs before you try out the latest update for yourself. It’s not like you’re going out to bars and such right now anyway, so you probably don’t really need help identifying music that’s playing around you. Right?