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ios 4.2Now that iOS 4.2 is finally available to iPad users, what new features does it bring to the table? Some of them are more than welcome like folders, Find My iPad and the Mail app’s revamp. A few of the other features, including the much lauded multitasking as well as AirPrint leave a little to be desired.

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.

Folders

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.

ios 4.2

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.

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apple ios 4.2

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 Find Your Lost Or Stolen iPhone, iPad Or iPod Touch with Find My iPhone Find Your Lost Or Stolen iPhone, iPad Or iPod Touch with Find My iPhone Read More .

apple ios 4.2

Multitasking

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.

apple ios 4.2

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.

Mail Revamp

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.

ipad ios 4.2

AirPrint

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.

ipad ios 4.2

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 How to Print From Your iPhone for Free in 3 Easy Steps How to Print From Your iPhone for Free in 3 Easy Steps Read More a try. If you’re on the go, check out Ryan’s tips Print Anything Wherever You Are With PrinterOn Print Anything Wherever You Are With PrinterOn Read More on how to print no matter where you are, a few of which should work with the iPad.

Parental Controls

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.

ipad ios 4.2

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.

Search1.jpg

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.

ios 4.2

What feature are you happy to finally have on your iPad? Let us know in the comments.

  1. Chirag Malkani
    December 8, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Apparently you can connect to any printer on a wifi network...

    • iwanttoknow
      December 29, 2010 at 12:31 am

      yah i think thats right......

  2. Facebook App Development
    December 6, 2010 at 10:53 am

    its really informative post.

  3. Be.
    December 6, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    I agree with both comments and would recommend the following to Apple:
    1) get inspired by backgrounder for their user controlled activation method and specific badge highlighting the apps that have been backgrounded
    2) Still provide a quick access to all apps currently running in background (and not with recently used apps, just the ones running in background) but rather than doing it with the one line menu, provide an app for it in order to use more screen real estate and to provide both the list of open applications and access to actions such as individually closing them or closing them all

  4. Drcypher
    December 6, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Only good use I had from 4.2.1. was the folder feature. Multitasking, well I prefered the way you could do it with "Backgrounder" from Cydia. It all just seems kind of clumsy the way it is set out.

    • nm
      December 6, 2010 at 9:57 am

      I do like the multitasking that comes with the update - and definitely prefer it over Backgrounder. I just have to remember to check every now and then what's running otherwise I leave so many apps open and from what I can tell it drains the battery.

      • Be.
        December 6, 2010 at 11:16 am

        I agree with both comments and would recommend the following to Apple:
        1) get inspired by backgrounder for their user controlled activation method and specific badge highlighting the apps that have been backgrounded
        2) Still provide a quick access to all apps currently running in background (and not with recently used apps, just the ones running in background) but rather than doing it with the one line menu, provide an app for it in order to use more screen real estate and to provide both the list of open applications and access to actions such as individually closing them or closing them all

  5. Anonymous
    December 6, 2010 at 1:16 am

    Thanks for doing this recap on the new software update!

    But I think the only thing I'm going to utilize is the folder feature...

  6. AMAZING WEBSITES AND PROJECTS
    December 6, 2010 at 12:35 am

    a lesson that Microsoft should learn for its WM7 and the upcoming WindowsPads...

  7. whyysoserious
    December 6, 2010 at 2:16 am

    Thanks for doing this recap on the new software update!

    But I think the only thing I'm going to utilize is the folder feature...

  8. AMAppZON.com or AMAppSTORE.com
    December 6, 2010 at 1:35 am

    a lesson that Microsoft should learn for its WM7 and the upcoming WindowsPads...

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