iOS is coming. Ok, its release has slipped back to later this month, but the much-needed boost, which will finally bring multitasking skills to the iPad, is well worth getting excited about. Not sure what to expect from this latest Apple upgrade? Read on and check out our top 10 iOS 4.2 features now.
Already sitting pretty on iTunes, this is the feature that could spell the end for traditional iPod docks. AirPlay allows you to stream music and movies from your iPhone or iPad to any compatible device, including the new Apple TV. Hi-fi types are already falling over themselves to release AirPlay-compatible kit and it all means you don’t need to shackle your phone or tablet to a stereo to listen to the tunes on it while you’re at home.
This wireless printing function was talked up big style by Jobs back in September, allowing you to reel off relevant docs to dedicated printers and even on a shared printer via a Mac or PC. However, it seems Mac and PC support is likely to be dropped, with rumours rife that Apple has hit problems with AirPrint in recent weeks. If you can print via your home machine, this really will be a killer addition to iOS.
3 The full iOS 4 experience on the iPad
The iPad has been marooned on iOS 3 since its inception. But that’s all about to change with the arrival of iOS 4. Multitasking, folders and better email integration all beckon for those rocking one of Apple’s best-selling slates. The new update will give the iPad a whole new look and a big boost ahead of the Christmas rush. And all just before a new version gets outed in the New Year.
4 FaceTime takes centre stage
The video chat offering has still not become a go to app, even if Apple likes to talk up its skills at every given opportunity. That said, iOS 4.2 will see a FaceTime option come to the messaging app, so you can dive into a video chat with a pal straight from a conversation. Neat, but will it really make more people use FaceTime?
5 YouTube voting
Seems like such a minor thing, but for YouTube fanatics, this is huge. The YouTube app on iOS will now allow you to give a thumbs up or thumbs down to clips, meaning you can rank videos according to taste. A small, but much-needed bump to proceedings.
6 Web page search
Finding specific phrases and words on web pages is a doddle on your Mac or PC, but not so on an iPhone or iPad. iOS 4.2 will let you search pages in Safari, simply by selecting an option in the search bar in the top right hand corner. Simple, effective and something any mobile computer should be able to do.
7 Languages take centre stage
A niche one, but iOS 4.2 is adding support for 30 more languages, with new dedicated keyboards to help Arabic and Hebrew speakers, amongst others. It might not affect you directly, but it will mean the iPhone takes off in territories where it’s yet to achieve bestseller status.
8 Speedier browsing
This is a difficult one to quantify, but Apple says iOS 4.2 will lead to better web performance. Anecdotal evidence from beta users has suggested the iPhone 3G really responds well in this regard, which should mean newer handsets will be feeling the love too.
9 Business brains
Apple really wants to make a play of the iPad’s business credentials, especially with the BlackBerry PlayBook round the corner. iOS 4.2 brings a slew of new business-slanted security measures, including enhanced mail protection, wireless app distribution so businesses can serve up employees with dedicated add-ons and even allows for employer monitoring of devices.
10 New iPad controls
The slate’s lock button will now let you mute sound, while brightness controls can be tickled via the multitasking bar, which will appear down at the bottom of the device when you double click on the hard key at the bottom.