In brief: The latest iOS update dropped today, with several fixes for minor annoyances in iOS 14, iPadOS 14, as well as tvOS 14 and watchOS 7. This is a relatively major point release that also includes some new features, such as Optimized Battery Charging for AirPods, Intercom, and improved AirPlay controls.

When Apple dropped iOS 14 into the world, the wealth of new features and home screen widgets almost made it the best iOS release in a while. But the company chose to release it without giving developers enough time to iron out their apps, and users found a series of issues, from abnormal battery drain to user interface lags, keyboard stutters, crashes, and wireless connectivity woes.

The company today seeded out iOS 14.2, iPadOS 14.2, watchOS 7.1, and tvOS 14.2 to the public, which contain fixes for several issues experienced by users over the past two months, such as getting a black screen in certain apps or non-working wireless charging.

  • Apps could be out of order on the Home Screen dock
  • Camera viewfinder may appear black when launched
  • The keyboard on the Lock Screen could miss touches when trying to enter the passcode
  • Reminders could default to times in the past
  • Photos widget may not display content
  • Weather widget could display the high temperature in Celsius when set to Fahrenheit
  • Next-hour precipitation chart description in Weather could incorrectly indicate when precipitation stops
  • Voice Memos recordings are interrupted by incoming calls
  • The screen could be black during Netflix video playback
  • Apple Cash could fail to send or receive money when asked via Siri
  • Apple Watch app may unexpectedly close when opened
  • Workout GPS routes or Health data are prevented from syncing between Apple Watch and iPhone for some users
  • Audio is incorrectly labeled as "Not Playing" in the CarPlay Dashboard
  • Devices could be prevented from charging wirelessly
  • Exposure Notifications is disabled when restoring iPhone from iCloud Backup or transferring data to a new iPhone using iPhone Migration

Besides the bug fixes, Apple added eight new wallpapers, 100 new emojis, and improved some of the system icons. For people who regularly use Shazam, there's now a shortcut in Control Center for quicker access. You'll also get a notification when the volume of the audio played through your headphones is too high, and Apple has redesigned the AirPlay 2 controls.

Another feature that arrives with the release of iOS 14.2 is Intercom, which allows you to broadcast messages to your family using your iPhone/iPad and HomePod. If you happen to own an Apple TV 4K, you can now use a HomePod (or ideally two of them) for surround sound. This comes just as Apple is getting ready to accept pre-orders for HomePod mini this Friday.

For those of you who use AirPods, you can now enable Optimized Battery Charging to prolong their lifespan. This works the same as it does with iPhone, meaning that when you charge your AirPods at night, it won't charge them at full speed and will try to time the process so that they will reach a 100 percent charge right before you wake up.

iOS 14.2 also comes with an accessibility feature that leverages the LiDAR sensor that's built into the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. Now you can use Magnifier to detect people nearby and tell you how far they are from you. This is also valid for iPadOS 14.2, if you're using an iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th generation) or an iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd generation).

As for watchOS 7.1, tvOS 14.2, they're mostly focused on bug fixes. It's worth noting the bug that prevented some people from using their Apple Watch to unlock their Mac has been fixed.

Image credit: AhmedAdel