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iOS 4.2 and new iPad

Apple uses a correct policy by releasing big updates of their existing devices - new owners will enjoy additional features, while experienced ones will appreciate the fact they are not forgotten. It's a win-win situation and everybody stays happy. Steve Jobs announced the update for iPad long time ago and yesterday when connecting a tablet to the PC we could finally see a popup window with the info related to iOS 4.2. I decided to cover the issue, because this software turns iPad into a more functional device. Here comes the new iPad. Sounds dramatic, but multitasking and other newly acquired features are important indeed.

Key changes

I have already mentioned how multitasking is effected in iOS in a related article, but I will also make a video about how it works in iPad.

iOS 4: review

In iPad everything works in the same way and you can start as many apps as you wish. By pressing the button under the screen twice you activate the bar with running applications. Similar to iPhone this bar starts with an iPod icon followed by Play/Pause and track switch keys. You can adjust the brightness and volume of iPod here. It is cool as iPhone doesn't have the feature. The slider on the right side moves the device into the silent mode, while the screen orientation can be blocked with the button on that bar. The solution is absolutely spot on as I couldn't get accustomed that the slider should be only used to block the screen orientation changes.

The update takes around 500 МB, which requires 1.5 hours for download and installation. The list of changes is very extensive, so look at key points in iPad:

  • Multitasking: everything is clear, as many apps can work in the background mode and you can switch between them easily. I did not have any bags during a 1 day test apart from Safari browser, which crashed once when I tried to open our website. In the background mode can work audio apps (for example, Internet radio), VoIP, etc. You can change the location in the background, carry out different activities. The device feels like a new one. iPad is more complete now.
  • You can create folders
  • We receive a single unified e-mail events bar similar to that of iPhone. Messages with one topic are joined in a chain. For example, comments to one LiveJournal entry will appear together, which is quite logical. Attachments can be handled with third party apps, though I still prefer Pages
  • Game Center is a bit of an unknown quantity (like in iPhone) and this network is just starting to grow. Apart from the Game Center there are other systems to connect gamers. Theoretically, it is convenient to use only your nick in GC, but in some cases it does not work. Currently iPad has only one game with GC support installed - Angry Birds (look at a screenshot of an iPhone version). In Game Center settings you get a parental control option, which is very handy.
  • AirPrint offers wireless printing, but I am not going to use this feature as I don't remember the last time I printed something. Some of my friends are happy with the way this feature works and use it extensively.
  • AirPlay is responsible for music transfer from iPad to a compatible audio system. The appropriate speakers are already on sale, for example iLuv offers one option. You can obviously transfer music via AirPort Express with the audio cable. The details have been already described in my thorough article about the gadget.

AirPort Express: точка над i

  • Safari received an additional feature when you can prints a page, select a printer in parameters, a number of copies and here you go. You can now also search directly in the page – enter text in the right corner window at the top and select "On this page". You will immediately get the number of hits on the page.
  • Via Spotlight it is possible to search online and in Wikipedia. When you enter the text you have an option to select the type of search you prefer. The entered words are remembered.
  • Directly from iPad you can create playlists and make gifts of apps in iTunes.
  • We can send and receive calendar invitations. New languages, dictionaries and keypads are added. New fonts are accessible from "Notes" together with automated spell check and "boosted corporate solutions".
  • Various bugs were corrected too.

What do we get overall? We have the same iPad, but it is much better now. Several features may be not understandable enough, but in several days you will forget how you worked with it before the arrival of multitasking, even if it is vital not for every app. If you buy a system with AirPlay support you will transfer sound easily and in good quality. The printing is realized better, etc. It is a big and proper update, but I have the following ides. It seems that the company does not understand in which direction to develop the device. The update covers everything – sound, multitasking, multimedia, while business users are not ignored as well. At the moment iPad is developing as a parallel to iPhone and iPod Touch, but soon its particular features will be distinguished more prominently. For example, iPad can get additional corporate possibilities or special apps in the box. You never know. The update is a must have for all iPad owners.


Now I will briefly mention updates for iPhone/iPod Touch. It has a similar number 4.2 and its size is more than 600 MB. Among new features we have:

  • AirPrint – documents printing
  • AirPlay - transfer of video, music and photos to Apple TV. Detailed info to come in the review of this accessory. Alternatively, you can transfer music to compatible speakers and via AirPort Express
  • FaceTime improvements – video calls with voice operation, video calls directly from the SMS chat. FaceTime supports Bluetooth headsets now
  • New messages signals in SMS/MMS and a truly great option to assign user specific ringtones to contacts. The tunes were selected in a smart way to reflect Apple style. Some will surely make you smile. For example, "On tiptoes"
  • Different options for parental control
  • Similarly to iPad there is a search option in a Safari page and new fonts in "Notes"
  • iPod Touch of the 4th generation received "the elimination of sound anomalies, which at times appeared during the audio recording". I don't know what it is. The quality of music playback was also boosted for USB audio systems.

The update is compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 3G and iPod Touch of the 2nd generation or higher. Somehow after the update all my music files disappeared.


The outcome is easy to analyze. iPad received a high quality update, while iPhone gets nice little add-ons. The files are too large though, so if your Internet connection is not the fastest, bear it in mind. I hope that iPad owners will share their impressions about iOS 4.2. on our forum.

Do you want to talk about this? Please, go to our Forum and let your opinion to be known to the author and everybody else.

Sergei Kuzmin (skuzmin@mobile-review.com)
Twitter    Livejournal
Translated by Maxim Antonenko (maxantonenko@ukr.net)

Published — 29 November 2010

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