Apple released last week a big update to its iOS devices. This gives the iPad the much needed and anticipated features that was previously introduced to iPhone 4, 3GS and older versions of the iPhone last June.
Iâ€™ve been using 4.2.1 on the iPad and iPhone 4 for a week now. Here are some of the new features introduced to the iPad:
If youâ€™re using an iPhone 4 or 3GS, you’ll be at home with the semi multitasking feature. You double tap the home button and you’ll be presented with a list of apps that you previously opened at the bottom of the screen. You can switch to a different app on the fly and kill off some apps to free up some ram. Apps now can take advantage of this feature on the iPad.
This is the xbox live version of the iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads. You can play games and compete with your friends over wifi. Not all games have this feature but for example, you can now play Fruit Ninja against other iOS devices. You can now see points and achievements from the games you played.
You can now group apps in to different folders up to 12 apps in a single folder. You can do this by holding the icon for a few seconds and drag the icon to another icon and combine them. Youâ€™ll be prompt with renaming the folder or not.
Youâ€™ll now have a unified inbox. Before, with iPad firmware 3.2.2, when you have multiple emails like yahoo, gmail and live emails, you have to go in and out of each mailbox to see your emails from a different account. With 4.2.1, you now have the option of viewing all your emails in a single folder.
When you double tap the home button and swipe it to the right, you’ll see youâ€™re multimedia buttons like volume, brightness, forward, back and Play/Pause button. Another button is introduced in 4.2.1. That is the lock orientation button. In 3.2.2, the lock orientation button is a physical button on the upper left side of the iPad. In 4.2.1, the switch button is now the mute toggle button. This is a bit irritating since the iPad is really sensitive with screen orientation And now, you have to double tap the home button and swipe to the right once to lock the orientation. I hope Apple gives the users the option on how to use the toggle button on the left.
AirPlay and AirPrint
I havenâ€™t tried the AirPlay feature yet since I donâ€™t have an Apple TV to test it with. Basically, this feature allows users to push multimedia like music and videos over the air to be shown on a TV. AirPrint is another great update to both the iPad and the iPhone. This feature allows user to directly print documents over a network printer.
New Text tones for the iPhone
Finally, after 3 years of using just the 6 text tones by Apple, they added 17 new text tones. This is pretty big deal for me since almost everywhere you go, you’ll hear the same text tones from iPhone users. One caveat though, most if not all of the new text tones sounded awful.
If youâ€™re an iPhone user, most probably youâ€™re using the firmware 4.1 since June. The only updates you’ll get are AirPlay, AirPrint and new text tones. But if youâ€™re an iPad user with firmware 3.2.2, you’ll feel like you have a new device. You must upgrade to the new firmware. You can finally do things on your iPad that iPhone users have been enjoying. Please be warned that the update is around 500mb to 650mb in size.
Editor’s Note: Dale is a reviews & special assignments contributor for YugaTech. The review had some minor revisions from me. You can follow him on Twitter @dalekins. – Yuga