iOS 4.2 – New features coming both for iPhone and iPad!

One of the major announcements of the Sept 1st event was, of course, iOS 4.2. The eventual update will finally unify the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad under a single version, bringing the lucky owners of the dream tablet into the world of folders, multi-tasking, Game Center and more. And guess what – the first beta has just been released and clever and inquisitive minds all over the Apple community, willing to risk the stability of their iDevices, have already installed it and have begun exploring the new possibilities. Features uncovered after the gap.

Considering this is the first major iOS update for the iPad since it’s release, let’s see what new and significant features will be implemented on the magical tablet:

  • All of the iPhone iOS 4.0 – 4.1 features, including
    • Multi-tasking
    • Folders
    • Unified E-mail inbox
    • Game Center
  • Change the iPad orientation-lock switch to mute as in the iPhone and place the former in the multi-tasking tray

Common features across the whole iOS family

  • AirPlay – Streaming videos from your iPad to any compatible device (most importantly – the new Apple TV)
  • AirPrint – Native printing from the iOS to shared printers on PC/Mac and direct printing to the recently announced HP’s ePrint-compatible wireless printers
  • Safari in-page search and cycling through results (finally)
  • A lot more versatility in parental controls including restricting installing/deleting apps, e-mail and location settings and more
  • MIDI-framework support
  • YouTube app gets upgraded with likes/dislikes
  • Minor UI brush-ups

And finally the iPhone gets some exclusive new features as well:

  • Customizable Messages (SMS/MMS) ringtones per contact – this is one of most desirable new features in iOS 4.2. I’ve been using QuickSMS for the longest time just because of this feature, but sadly it was broken by iOS 4. I’m thrilled that Apple has finally decided to allow this out of the box. Now if they would only let us add new SMS tones…
  • You can now lock the ringtone volume level in the settings, avoiding you from accidentally lowering it via the volume buttons
  • A new shortcut button to initiate Facetime chat in the Messages app

I don’t know about you, but even this small list makes me super-excited about the new iOS. I can only imagine that iPad owners are whet with excitement, as they’ll soon have the ability to multitask, create folders and do a whole lot more.

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