Apple has preparing iOS 4.2 for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. By offering the golden master version of the software to developers, it is a sign that Apple is nearly ready to offer it to consumers. The release, known as build 8C134, is for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch devices, which could mean iOS 4.2 will be released soon, the blog said.
Apple has added the AirPlay feature back to iOS 4.2. AirPlay lets users wirelessly stream music, videos, and photos from iPad to the new Apple TV (no word on compatibility with the old Apple TV). Users can also stream music to AirPlay speakers or receivers. Apple has removed AirPlay from the last developer build of iOS 4.2.
The newest version of iOS has drawn so much attention because it will provide the first operating system compatible with all of its devices. The move may be seen as an attempt to compete with Google’s Android mobile operating system, which has been quickly building competition in the smartphone market and gaining on Apple’s industry-leading App Store. Android has drawn attention for its open development features, allowing apps designed for newer versions of Android to operate on any other version as well.
Though a number of features will appear across all three “i” devices, the iPad will be the primary beneficiary of iOS 4.2. The iPad’s current OS version is 3.2.2. It lacks folders, multitasking and a number of other features that debuted with iOS 4.0 for the iPhone. That includes the Game Center and the ability to print from the iPad via Wi-Fi to select, compatible printers.
One of the big issues that will surely cause controversy in the Apple mobile world is the repurposing of the hardware switch on the side of the iPad from being a rotation lock to a mute switch in iOS 4.2. Currently there is no toggle for this functionality in iOS 4.2, but don’t be surprised if it’s added at the last second, given the response from many users.
The update is also expected to include multitasking and iOS folders for the iPad, as well as a variety of other features already on the iPhone and iPod touch, Apple Insider said. It will also bring GameCenter to the iPad, enhanced enterprise support, and new language and accessibility features. Apple hasn’t indicated when the software will be available for download, but it is generally within seven to 10 days from the release of the golden master.