The 4.2.1 update for iOS brings many new features to the iPad. You can now run several apps at once, organize apps into folders, print to some wireless printers and search inside web pages. There are also improvements to Mail ;and other default apps.
Hi. This is Gary with MacMost Now. On today’s episode, let’s look at the new features for the iPad, in iOS 4.2.
So Apple released iOS 4.2 last week. This update brings a lot of features to the iPad that have already been on the iPhone for a little while, plus some new ones. Let’s take a look.
Arguably the biggest feature of iOS 4.2 is multi-tasking. So as you run different apps on your iPad, they remain running. They don’t take up much battery life, or memory space. They kind of go into a hibernation state when you’re not using them. To see what apps are running, double tap the button at the bottom, the home button, and you get all of your apps listed here. And you can zoom back and forth, left and right, to see which ones are running, and you can jump to any one that you want, simply by touching it.
Now, if you want to completely quit an app, so it isn’t running in the background, double tap, to go and look at the ones that are running, and touch and hold any one of those, and they’ll all start to shake. You can still move back and forth, but you can quit one by simply pressing the red minus button at the upper left-hand corner.
Another big feature of iOS 4.2 is the app folders. So you can see I’ve got all these icons, are app folders. They contain a whole bunch of different apps. I touch one and it will show me which apps are inside the folder.
To create an app folder, all you need to do is tap and hold over an app until everything is jiggling, then drag one app to another app. It’ll create an app folder and it’ll name it based on the category of the two apps. So for instance, both of these are games, so it instantly gives me the name ‘games.’ I can tap it here and change that name if I want to.
You can also add an app to an existing folder, by tapping until everything jiggles, and then simply dragging it into the app folder. Likewise, you can go into an app folder and then drag something out of it.
There are a lot of improvements to Mail as well. There’s a unified in-box, so if you have more than one account, you can now view all your incoming messages in one place. You can also view conversations in a threaded format as well. Plus, if you’re an Exchange user, you can now have more than one Exchange account.
My favorite feature though, is the ability to open up attachments in third party apps. One tricky little change is the switch on the side of the iPad right up here, is no longer the orientation lock: it’s a mute switch, just like on the iPhone. But you can still lock the orientation of the iPad. Just double-tap to go to the multi-task switcher here at the bottom. Go all the way to the left and in multi-tasking, you’ve got this left area here which has, always has, the iPad icon there. It has volume control, brightness control, and some playback buttons for the iPod app, and in addition, you have the orientation lock there, that you can turn on or off.
And we also have print functionality, called Air Print. Now you go to an app, say I’m in Pages here, and then you find the print functionality. In Pages, it’s the little wrench tool there, and under Tools, you click Print. Now here, you select a printer, the number of copies, and press Print. Now this only works on a few HP printers and one Epson printer right now. When more printers come out, there’ll be more options. There might also be, in the future, an option to print through your Mac, so you’ll have to look for that. But unless you have one of those printers, this print function really doesn’t do much for you at the moment.
In addition to Air Print, there’s also Air Play. It’s kind of limited, too. You can view videos and audio through the new Apple TV simply by clicking on a button inside of either the iPod app or the videos app.
There are also several usability changes. For instance, if you went into notes, you may not like how small the font is there. You can now change that by going into Settings, and under Settings you can go to General, and then Accessibility, and you can turn on ‘large text.’ And when you do that, select a size there. Now you go back and some of the default apps, like Notes, now display in larger size.
One of the cool new features I like, is the ability to search text in Safari. So for instance, of course, you can click on the Google box there and search for text on the web, but if you want to search on this webpage, you can actually just type it in here, and you get your Google suggestions there at the top, but also at the bottom you have, ‘on this page there are seven matches.’ Click that, and it will go to the first one, and then you can use these buttons here at the bottom to go to each match.
There are other features as well. For instance, the ninety-nine cent TV show rentals from the Apple TV are now available on the iPad, and also there’s the new Game Center app, which ties together a lot of different third party games in a system that allows you to challenge other players and compare high scores and things like that.
So if you haven’t gotten it already, all you need to do is sync your iPad with your Mac or PC. In iTunes, go and check for the update, and it will download it and install the update for you.
Hope you liked this look at the new iOS 4.2 for iPad. Until next time, this is Gary with MacMost Now.