Hands-On With iOS 14.2's New Shazam Music Recognition Toggle in Control Center
Shortly after launching iOS 14, Apple introduced an upcoming iOS 14.2 update, which is now available to developers and public beta testers ahead of a public release that could come at some point in October.
The iOS 14.2 update mainly focuses on the Control Center, introducing a new Music Recognition toggle that deepens the Shazam integration in the iPhone and iPad. We thought we'd test out the new Shazam toggle in the Control Center in our latest YouTube video, giving those who haven't installed the beta a look at what it does.
For those unfamiliar with Shazam, it's designed to listen for music that's playing, providing a song title and artist for identification purposes. Apple's iPhones and iPads have long had Shazam integration, available through the Shazam app and by asking Siri to identify a song that's playing.
After years of Siri integration, Apple acquired Shazam in 2017, and the acquisition was finished in 2018, but until now, Apple hasn't made a move to make song recognition a system-level function.
iOS 14.2 adds a new "Music Recognition" toggle to the Control Center, which you can tap whenever music is playing to get a song recognition. Note that Music Recognition is distinct from Sound Recognition, an Accessibility feature introduced in iOS 14 to help those who are hard of hearing listen for sounds like alarms.
The Music Recognition toggle doesn't show up in Control Center by default (at least in the beta), but it can be enabled by opening up the Settings app, choosing Control Center, and then scrolling down and tapping the "+" button next to Music Recognition.
Tapping the Music Recognition button in Control Center will cause an iPhone or iPad to listen for a song that's playing, and when a song is recognized, you'll be notified through a pop up banner. Tapping the banner opens up Shazam, but a long press will give you the option to open the song right in Apple Music, which is handy for Apple Music subscribers.
Music Recognition works with songs playing in the ambient environment as well as songs playing on your iPhone. So if you're watching a video and want to know what song is in it, you can just tap the Music Recognition toggle to find out. It even works when AirPods are connected, so the sound doesn't need to be out loud. This was possible with a Siri command before, but the functionality is easier to use with the simple Control Center toggle.
Along with Music Recognition, there are a few other bonus tweaks in the iOS 14.2 update. The Now Playing interface in Control Center has been redesigned and now, when there's no music playing, it will show suggestions based on songs and albums that you've listened to recently. The design has also been streamlined, and if you want to AirPlay to other devices, there's now a little toggle to tap that brings up all nearby AirPlay 2 compatible devices in a list, rather than displaying them at all times in the widget.
iOS 14.2 also adds one more Accessibility feature, enhancing the Magnifier app on the iPhone. There's now an option to turn on People Detection in Magnifier, which lets the app detect people to let those with low sight know when someone is within six feet. The People Recognition option is also able to identify specific people that have been labeled in the Photos app using the iPhone's facial detection feature.
The iOS 14.2 update is available to both developers and public beta testers at this time, so anyone can test it out if desired. It is a beta, so expect some bugs. iOS 14.2 will likely be in beta testing for some time as we await new iPhones, with a launch perhaps coming later in October.