Apple is rolling out the latest version of iOS, the operating system for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. It brings new features and enhancements that – according to Steve Jobs – “will define the target that other tablets will aspire to, but very few, if any, will ever be able to hit.”
The biggest changes are going to be noticed by iPad users, but plenty of the 100+ new features will also apply to the iPhone and iPod touch.
The changes are as follows (published by Apple):
iPad users can now run their favourite apps and switch between them instantly, while preserving iPad’s legendary battery life. Users can organise their apps with drag-and-drop simplicity using Folders, and 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 iPad, iPhone and iPod touch to Apple TV, transforming Apple TV into a great accessory for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. 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 next-generation Wi-Fi print architecture that dramatically simplifies printing by completely 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 you locate your missing device.* The Find My iPhone app is a free download on the App Store and lets users easily locate a missing device on a map and have it display a message or play a sound. Users can even 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; industry-leading accessibility enhancements; and support for 25 additional languages, including Korean, Portuguese and Traditional Chinese.
The revolutionary iPad allows users to connect with their apps and content in a more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before. You can browse the web, read and send email, enjoy and share photos, watch HD videos, listen to music, play games, read ebooks and much more, using the innovative Multi-Touch user interface. iPad weighs just 1.5 pounds, making it easy to carry and use anywhere.
Today, customers have downloaded more than seven billion apps from the groundbreaking App Store and more than 300,000 apps are available to consumers in 90 countries, with more than 40,000 native iPad apps. Over 125 million iOS users around the world can choose from an incredible range of apps in 20 categories, including games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel.
The iOS 4.2 update is available today to download to iPad, iPhone and iPod touch by syncing the device with iTunes 10.1. iOS 4.2 is compatible with iPad, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, second and third generation iPod touch (late 2009 models with 32GB or 64GB) and new iPod touch. Some features may not be available on all products. For example, Multitasking requires iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, third generation iPod touch (late 2009 models with 32GB or 64GB) or later.
*The free Find My iPhone feature is available for iPhone 4, iPad or new iPod touch (4th generation).
** iTunes TV show rentals are only available in the US.