Apple has released a dedicated page on apple.com detailing some of the features of the forthcoming iOS 4.2 update that will unify the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad operating systems. The page highlights some of the most coveted features of iOS 4 (currently only running on iPhone and iPod touch) that will finally debut on iPad, including:
- Multitasking. A simple double-tap of the home button brings up a quick-switch interface allowing users to easily jump back to recently used Apps. Multitasking also allows for Apps like Pandora to run in the background while you surf, e-mail, or catch up on the news.
- Folders. Adding organization was essential for iOS, especially considering the ever-growing myriad of Apps available on the App Store. Just drag one App on top of another and iOS automatically creates a folder. You can even store it in your dock for quick access to your favorite Apps.
- Printing. One of the most exciting aspects of the iOS 4.2 update is the inclusion of wireless printing. The ability to create documents, spreadsheets, and other material on the go is one of iPad's greatest assets. By adding print capabilities, Apple has pushed another step forward in making iPad a tool for creation (not just consumption).
- AirPlay. What's the biggest buzzword in tech right now? Streaming. AirPlay allows you to stream your video content to the new Apple TV and your audio content to any AirPlay speakers, including your AirPort Express.
Other features of iOS 4.2 include Apple's social network for gaming, Game Center, unified Inboxes and threaded messages in the Mail App, the ability to find and highlight text in Safari, better support for enterprise through stronger security, upgraded accessibility features including VoiceOver control with wireless keyboards, and keyboard support for over 30 new languages including Arabic, Greek, and Hebrew.
The announcement of iOS 4.2 at this week's media event led Apple to encourage its production partners to up iPad production (currently at 2 million per month) to 3 million per month for the holiday season. This according to a report from Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty who states:
"Apple recently indicated to its suppliers a desire to move to 3 million per month in C4Q10. This implies a run rate of 36 million in CY11, close to the current 40 million supply chain forecast."
Recently Apple's shipping times for iPad have dropped sharply, from 2-4 weeks about a month ago to under 24 hours currently, suggesting any production problems they may have had early on have been solved. With the new operating system update to be available in November, expect iPad to be one of the top-selling tech toys of this holiday season.
Do the features in iOS 4.2 make iPad impossible to pass up? Let us know in the comments!