If you are a proud owner of an iOS device today is your lucky day. Apple has finally unleashed iOS 4.2, and it brings oh-so-much to the aging iPad and a handful of sweet features to the iPhone and iPod touch. Here’s the laundry list of new features coming to the iPad: multitasking, folders (you can store up to 20 apps inside a folder), Game Center, and updates to Mail (Unified Inbox, fast inbox switching, a threaded message view). In other words, it’s playing catch up with the iPhone and touch. Also bear in mind that the physical toggle switch on the iPad’s side no longer acts as an orientation lock; now it’s a mute switch, just like it is on the iPhone. The lock has been moved to the dock tray that also houses the iPod controls. With the new update, all iOS devices will gain the ability to find and highlight specific words and phrases on web pages in Safari, select new fonts in Notes, beam video and audio with AirPlay, and print wirelessly with AirPrint. Let’s talk about the latter two new features because they are exciting additions. With AirPlay you can stream music, video, and photos wirelessly from your iOS device to Apple TV and AirPlay-enabled speakers. On the video front, you can only stream files you’ve purchased from iTunes (or managed to convert to make playable in iTunes) and from YouTube. If you try to beam video content from Netflix or the ABC app, for example, only the audio will cross over. Bummer, I know. If you want to print wirelessly with AirPrint, you must own a compatible printer; Apple says HP Photosmart, HP LaserJet Pro, and HP Officejet will be the first to support it. iOS 4.2 is compatible with iPad, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, second and third generation iPod touch, and the latest iPod touch. You’ll be prompted to update the next time you open iTunes.
Right on cue Apple TV owners received the 4.1 firmware update today, granting them the ability to harness the power of AirPlay. That is, of course, if they also own a compatible iOS device.
Last, the MobileMe Find My iPhone feature no longer requires a MobileMe subscription to access and use. Apple has turned it into an app, and it’s available in the App Store today. In case you forgot, Find My iPhone helps you locate your missing device on a detailed map. You can also have it display a message or play a sound to make finding your missing device easier. And if you are forced to give up the search, you can remotely lock or wipe data from the lost device. The free Find My iPhone feature is available for iPhone 4, iPad or new iPod touch (4th generation).
Look after the break for Apple’s PR.
Major Software Update Brings Multitasking, Folders, Unified Inbox, Game Center, AirPlay & AirPrint to iPad
CUPERTINO, California-November 22, 2010-Apple® today announced that iOS 4.2, the latest version of the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, is available today for download for iPad™, iPhone® and iPod touch®. iOS 4.2 brings over 100 new features from iOS 4.0, 4.1 and 4.2 to iPad including Multitasking, Folders, Unified Inbox, Game Center, AirPlay® and AirPrint.
“iOS 4.2 makes the iPad a completely new product, just in time for the holiday season,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Once again, the iPad with iOS 4.2 will define the target that other tablets will aspire to, but very few, if any, will ever be able to hit.”
iPad users can now run their favorite apps and switch between them instantly, while preserving iPad’s legendary battery life. Users can organize their apps with drag-and-drop simplicity using Folders, and Mail now features a Unified Inbox, fast inbox switching and a threaded message view.
Game Center allows iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users to challenge and play friends or be matched automatically with new opponents, showcase their scores and achievements, and discover new games their friends are playing.
AirPlay is a new feature for streaming music, video and photos wirelessly from iPad, iPhone and iPod touch to Apple TV®, transforming Apple TV into a great accessory for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. iOS users also will be able to use AirPort Express® and AirPlay to stream wirelessly to any stereo or powered speakers, or directly to AirPlay-enabled speakers coming to market in the months ahead.
AirPrint is a next-generation Wi-Fi print architecture that dramatically simplifies printing by completely eliminating printer drivers. A selection of AirPrint enabled printers including the HP Photosmart, HP LaserJet Pro and HP Officejet will be the first to support printing direct from iOS devices. iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users can simply tap to print their documents or photos wirelessly to any printer that supports AirPrint.
The Find My iPhone (or iPad or iPod touch) feature is now free to use without a MobileMe℠ subscription and helps you locate your missing device.* The Find My iPhone app is a free download on the App Store℠ and lets users easily locate a missing device on a map and have it display a message or play a sound. Users can even remotely lock or wipe data from a lost device to protect privacy.
Other new features that iOS 4.2 brings to the iPad include: the ability to rent TV episodes directly to iPad using the iTunes® App with a 30 day viewing window and a 48 hour session window once playback is started; the ability to easily find and highlight specific words and phrases on web pages in Safari®; enhanced enterprise support so businesses can take advantage of stronger security features, new device management capabilities and improved enterprise integration; industry-leading accessibility enhancements; and support for 25 additional languages, including Korean, Portuguese and Traditional Chinese.
The revolutionary iPad allows users to connect with their apps and content in a more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before. You can browse the web, read and send email, enjoy and share photos, watch HD videos, listen to music, play games, read ebooks and much more, using the innovative Multi-Touch™ user interface. iPad weighs just 1.5 pounds, making it easy to carry and use anywhere.
Today, customers have downloaded more than seven billion apps from the groundbreaking App Store and more than 300,000 apps are available to consumers in 90 countries, with more than 40,000 native iPad apps. Over 125 million iOS users around the world can choose from an incredible range of apps in 20 categories, including games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel.
The iOS 4.2 update is available today to download to iPad, iPhone and iPod touch by syncing the device with iTunes 10.1. iOS 4.2 is compatible with iPad, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, second and third generation iPod touch (late 2009 models with 32GB or 64GB) and new iPod touch. Some features may not be available on all products. For example, Multitasking requires iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, third generation iPod touch (late 2009 models with 32GB or 64GB) or later.
*The free Find My iPhone feature is available for iPhone 4, iPad or new iPod touch (4th generation).
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork, and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple is reinventing the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced its magical iPad which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.