In addition to the release of the Gold Master build to developers last night, here’s another sign that the public release of iOS 4.2 is imminent. Apple is calling for developers to test their apps with the GM build and submit them for approval so they can be ready when 4.2 is launched.
Here’s the wording on the email that went out to developers:
iOS 4.2 SDK GM seed and iOS 4.2 GM seed are now available from the iOS Dev Center. Build, test, and compile your apps with these new releases and submit them for review so they can be ready when iOS 4.2 is available to iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch users.
Learn how you can add exciting iOS 4.2 features to your apps including the capability to print directly from iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. iPad apps can now take advantage of multitasking, Game Center, iAd, and more.
I imagine we will start seeing a flood of app updates for 4.2 compatibility very soon now.
Good news for everyone who has been anxiously awaiting iOS 4.2 for the iPad ever since Apple announced it would be made available in November. Last night Apple released the ‘Gold Master’ build of it to developers and encouraged them to begin testing their apps with it.
Gold Master releases are typically just about identical to the final public release, and if Apple follows recent iOS 4.x release timing patterns we should see the public release within just a week or two.
Some of the big things for iPad owners to get excited about in iOS 4.2 are multitasking for 3rd party apps and the Multitasking bar for rapid switching between apps, Folders for organizing apps on home screens, and AirPrint for printing from the iPad. Check out my earlier post on all the big new features in iOS 4.2 here: http://ipadinsight.com/ios/big-new-features-for-ipad-in-the-ios-4-2-software-update/
I’ve been running the iOS 4.2 betas for weeks now and installed the GM build last night. Just the rapid app-switching alone makes it a tremendous update, throw in folders and AirPrint and the rest and it’s a must-have. You’ll want to download this as soon as Apple releases it, and hopefully that will not be long at all.
Since the iPad launched, the button at the top of the right-hand side of the iPad has been used as an orientation lock. Under the iOS 4.2 betas, the button has been changed to a mute switch – and apparently that change is going to become a permanent one when iOS 4.2 is released to the public next month.
According to a report at 9to5Mac, Steve Jobs has confirmed the permanent change in another of his direct email exchanges with a user.
So in iOS 4.2, the top right button will be a Mute button and the Orientation Lock will be toggled via a button in the Multitasking Bar, just to the right of the iPod controls.
I’ve been running iOS 4.2 Beta 1 on my iPad for a few days now, and I’ve got a few very quick thoughts on it. Here they are:
— Folders still don’t strike me as a 100% elegant or effective solution for organizing apps and home screens – but they are a damn sight better than nothing (as we’ve had up to now) – and they’ve helped me come down from 8 home screens to 4. I could be on less but I’ve chosen to devote two full screens to most frequently used apps, and one to apps currently under review. I’m very happy to see that the app limit per folder is 20, a nice step up from the 12 allowed on the iPhone – this is a feature I was hoping we would get.
Multitasking is one of the headline features of iOS 4.2 for the iPad. It’s definitely my favorite new feature and the one I know will get the most use out of day in and day out. So I’ll be seeing a lot of the Multitasking Bar, which is what gets pulled up when you double-tap the Home button in iOS 4.2.
The Multitasking Bar is where you go to switch rapidly between backgrounded or recently run apps. It also has a couple of extra items over to the its far left when you swipe all the way in that direction. There’s a button for toggling orientation lock on/off, minimal iPod music controls, and most interestingly, a brightness control slider.
The brightness control is a very nice addition, but it also brings to mind a huge miss / wish list item. If they can make room for the brightness slider, why oh why can we not have a toggle for cellular services (on the iPad 3G), and some other key services?
Another small but welcome addition in iOS 4.2 for the iPad: you can now choose from a small selection of three fonts to use in the built-in Notes app. The big news is that one of them is Helvetica – which looks pretty damn gorgeous on the big iPad screen by the way.
I don’t use the Notes app very often (because of Evernote and Simplenote) but it’s nice to see this change, and Helvetica in particular.
Folders are one of the big new features in iOS 4.2 for the iPad. I’m running the first IOS 4.2 beta on mine right now – and I’m happy to see that not only are folders working nicely (and letting me reduce my home screens from 8 to 4), but they also allow 20 apps per folder.
Much nicer than the measly 12 per folder that we’ve got on iOS 4 on the iPhone right now. I’m not sure if this is a change that will apply to both devices under 4.2 or just to the iPad because of its larger screen. In any case I’m glad to see the higher limit and would love to see Apple increase it even further.
I updated to the iOS 4.2 Beta last night. So far it is running very well and looking great. The multitasking bar is my new best friend of course, and folders are a god-send. I haven’t tried printing out yet because it requires you to run a pre-release version of Mac OS X, which I’m just not wiling to do right now.
I’ll share more on 4.2 very soon.
Anyone else trying it out yet? Liking it?
The good news is that the upcoming iOS 4.2 software update is chock full of some major new features and functionality for the iPad. The not-so-good news is that we have to wait until November to get this update. The holdup presumably has something to do with the fact that 4.2 will mark the first time that iOS versions will be unified across the iPhone, iPod Touch, and the iPad.
So since we’ve got a good while to wait anyway, I thought this might be as good a time as any to share some of the details on some of the big additions we’re going to see on our iPads when iOS 4.2 is released. Hit the break for a quick rundown on this …
At today’s special Apple event, Steve Jobs announced that iOS 4.2 will be released in November and that it is ‘all about the iPad’.
So the good news is that we now have a better timeframe for when mutlitasking and a major OS update will hit the iPad. The not so good news is that the timeframe is November. So much for hoping Fall might mean September.
iOS 4.2 will be a major update though, and as impatient as I am to see it, I know it will be well worth the wait.