iPad 4.2, Coming Soon
iOS 4.2 is on the way, and it's bringing the features of iOS4 to the iPad. Many of those features have been available on the iPhone for some time already, and that's why it's a big deal to see the iPad get the upgrade. Rumors point to a Friday release, but nothing is confirmed yet.
iOS 4.2 is a New Experience
iOS 4.2 is the upgrade the iPad needed. The multitasking and folders make the user experience run much more smoothly. We've said before that the new features usefulness increases many times over on the iPad, and we still believe that. We continued to monitor our battery life after our initial impressions and things definitely seemed to stabilize after a while. We used our iPad regularly and ran about three days before draining the battery and getting the warning.
Those of you who have already been using iOS4 and above on an iPod Touch, iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4 or any device that is compatible with the multitasking feature already knows how this works. However, those on a 3G and some other iPod Touch models may not have access to Multitasking. Furthermore, those whose only iOS device is the iPad may not have experienced folders or Multitasking.
Let's take a very short look at how Folders and Multitasking work:
How To Use Folders:
Folders are used by holding your finger on an App icon. When you see it begin the "iOS dance" or "jiggle" you can drag it into another related App. The folder will be created automatically and iOS will automatically name the folder something fitting, such as "News" or "Games." Folders can also be renamed in this screen.
Helpful tip: The very first time you use iOS 4.2 on your iPad, we would suggest plugging your device into your computer and use iTunes to organize and name folders. It's much faster for the initial arrangement of all your Apps and folders.
How To Use Multitasking:
To access the Multitask dock, you simply double-click the Home button. The dock will rise from the bottom of the screen and you can select between various Apps running in the background. If the App is optimized for multitasking, you can switch back and forth between applications and they will continue exactly where you left off. If the App is not optimized, the application will pretty much relaunch.
How To Use iPod Controls, Screen Brightness and Orientation Lock:
Orientation Lock – The physical button on the side of the iPad no longer locks the device's orientation. you must access the Multitask Dock and swipe to the right to bring up the iPod controls (above). On the far left, you see the circular arrow. The lock in the center means the orientation is locked. If you do not see the lock, it means the screen will rotate with the iPad.
Brightness Controls – Right next to the orientation lock, you will see the brightness control. Know that you can still control the brightness through the iPad Settings menu, but this is just a little faster. Note that this directly affects the brightness setting in the iPad Settings menu as well.
iPod Controls – To the right of the brightness controls, you will see the iPod controls. These are very basic forward/backward skip controls and a play/pause button. The volume can also be controlled here.
Ready for iOS 4.2?
We highlighted many of the upcoming features of iOS 4.2 earlier this week. So far, we were happy with our experiences. Check out our first hour and our 24-hour impressions.