iOS 4.2 was announced in Apple's 2010 special musical event, Apple started rolling out iOS 4.2 betas starting from September 15th then followed by beta 2 and beta 3 and now we're testing the final gold master version. To sum up the new features, it brings Multitasking, folders, and unified inbox from iOS 4, also Game Center and TV show rentals from iOS 4.1, and adds in AirPlay video sharing and AirPrint wireless printing. Let's take a deep look at this features.
Apple has added a software orientation lock similar to that of the iPhone/iPod touch to iOS 4.2 to the iPad. This means that the orientation lock switch on the side of the iPad is now a mute switch, just like the iPhone. The only real difference between the iPad’s orientation lock widget and the iPhone’s is that it locks in both in landscape and portrait mode. But to be clear infront of you, there was an e-mail sent from Jobs to a reader over 9to5mac confirming that there's no hardware changes, we don't know what will happen in the public release.
AirPlay is essentially an upgrade of apple’s AirTunes system, which used to let you stream music between iTunes on windows/Mac and Apple TV or Airport Express connected speakers. AirPlay steps it up and lets you steam media [video, pictures and music] from the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and the 2010 Apple TV. It looks any app store app can stream as well as the built-in apps like iPod, video and photo if they so choose to do so.
AirPrint is another evolution of Apple's wireless printing service. You will be able to send pages to almost any printer on the same Wi-Fi network, or to certain printers directly.
iPad has finally got iOS 4's HomeScreen with multitasking, folders and this wow background; Moreover, it got some new changes. In the upper right corner next to the battery percentage indicator there is not a small arrow pointing northeast, this icon indicates a location-based service is running, such as Wi-Fi mapping, or GPS; this feature is imported from iOS 4.
That's the most important and big feature in iOS 4.2 for iPad, the arrival of real Multitasking to the iPad and guess what, it's different from iPhone's one. It's based on having your current screen slide to left, while the new one will slide around it horizontally to get on the front. Here's a video to see it in action: