Apple iOS 4.2 is now available for the Apple iPad, bringing multitasking to the Apple tablet in addition to wireless printing and other features that have long been on iPad user wish lists.
According to Apple, the update, which was first announced in September, brings more than 100 new features to the iPad and all but the first-generation iPhone and iPod Touch, in addition to multitasking. The features include folders, unified inbox, AirPlay, AirPrint and GameCenter.
According to Apple, AirPrint is a “next-generation Wi-Fi print architecture” that allows users to print documents wirelessly to any printer that supports AirPrint, all with the tap of a finger. Current AirPrint-enabled printers include the PhotoSmart, Officejet and LasterJet Pro devices from Hewlett Packard.
TabletPCReview was on-hand for the HP printer unveiling, which included the eStation, a consumer-class printer that sports a detachable, seven-inch printer monitor that doubles as an Android-powered tablet when undocked.
Of course, Apple also added plenty of fun with the iOS 4.2.1 update, including GameCenter, which – like Xbox Live – allows users to play friends online and share scores and in-game achievements.
Apple also included AirPlay, which wirelessly pushes music, photos and videos, including YouTube videos, from their iPad and other iOS 4.2 devices to AppleTV or AirPlay-enabled speakers, which Apple claims will be launching in the coming months.
Other new features include the new Find My iPhone app, a free download that helps track down missing devices and even lock or wipe the device; drag-and-drop folders for organizing apps; an unified inbox for organizing emails and message threading; direct TV show rentals to the iPad; and a host of enterprise integration features, including improved security, device management capabilities, and support for 25 additional languages, including traditional Chinese and Korean.
Users can access the iOS 4.2 update simply by synching their iPad with the also recently-update iTunes 10.1.