We’ve put together a rundown of the most important features, to give you an idea of what you’ll get with the update, although there are already rumours flying around that OS 4.3 will be out as soon as December. Of course, 4.2 took its sweet time to arrive, so we won’t be holding our breath.
If you have a hundred and one apps on your iPad, the appearance of folders is probably more than welcome. To create a folder, drag one app on top of the other, adding a maximum of 20 apps per folder.
To make life easier, we would suggest organising your iPad when it’s hooked up to iTunes. It will be less time consuming as you can select multiple apps by clicking the CMD/CTRL button. When you download a new app on your computer, when syncing your iPad, you can add it to the desired folder straight away before it’s even on your iPad.
Find My iPad
In the past, it required a paid MobileMe account to benefit from this feature but with 4.2, iPads and other iOS devices can be remotely located and controlled if lost.
The service, available when you download the free app, Find My iPhone, will allow you to locate your iPad on a map, display a message of your choice on the screen, set a passcode lock and even wipe all of your personal data from the device. Bakari recently looked further into this really useful service here.
Multitasking has been a thorn in the side of Apple fanboys, and while it’s now available on OS 4.2 it isn’t exactly perfect. First, not all apps support multitasking so don’t expect to listen to music using just any radio or music app and leave it running in the background.
For those apps that do support multitasking, click the home button twice in succession to bring up a menu of currently open apps. Closing an app uses a similar process as deleting an app from your screen, hold the icon down until the delete icon appears on each app, and close the apps that you don’t need. Don’t forget to do this on a regular basis otherwise you’ll be leaving apps open in the background left and right.
It seems Apple can’t find a middle ground. Either no multitasking at all, or leave all of your apps open unless they are manually closed. For example, if you’re listening to a music app that supports multitasking, be sure to use the mulitasking menu to close it as hitting the home button alone will not stop the music.
The native Mail app has had a small but significant makeover. You can now view all of your email in a unified inbox, as well as read threaded conversations a la Gmail, making for a much more streamlined email experience.
Apple might want to make a big deal over the ability to print wirelessly from your iPad, but the truth of the matter is that it only works with specific HP printers.
It’s not clear whether the service will be available to use with other printers, but in the meantime other iPad users can give these options a try. If you’re on the go, check out Ryan’s tips on how to print no matter where you are, a few of which should work with the iPad.
With newly added parental controls, you can stop your kids from buying half of the iTunes app store, whether inadvertently or on purpose. You can also disable access to YouTube, iTunes and even Safari as well as disabling in-app purchases.
Search Current Page
This feature is actually a little hard to find, but with 4.2 you can now search for specific text on any webpage. Using the Google search bar at the top of the browser, enter the text you want to search for, and it will tell you how many times the word appears on the page.
Other changes to the iOS include the ability to reply to calendar invitations, iTunes TV show rentals and access to the gaming platform already available on other iOS devices, Game Center. You can also now benefit from AirPlay, which allows you to stream digital media to your Apple TV or AirPlay enabled speakers from your iPad.
Another iOS native app to get a facelift is Notes. Apple are finally gives you a choice of 3 fonts, Chalkboard, Helvetica and Marker Felt, and it’s about time, because let’s face it, the original Marker Felt font was pretty juvenile.
What feature are you happy to finally have on your iPad? Let us know in the comments.