Apple Releases iOS 4.2

iOS 4.2, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, is now available to download for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. iOS 4.2 brings over 100 new features 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,” says Apple CEO, Steve Jobs. “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 favourite apps and switch between them instantly. Folders enables users to organise their apps, while 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 the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch to Apple TV. 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 wi-fi print architecture that Apples says dramtically simplifies printing by 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 users locate a missing device. It is available for iPhone 4, iPad or the new, 4th-generation iPod touch. The Find My iPhone app is available as a free download from the Apple App Store. It enables users to locate a missing device on a map and have it display a message or play a sound. Users can also 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; accessibility enhancements; and support for 25 additional languages, including Korean, Portuguese and Traditional Chinese.

Apple revealed recently that its customers have downloaded more than 7bn apps from its App Store, which now offers more than 300,000 apps, including more than 40,000 native iPad apps, to consumers in 90 countries.