Apple has posted a new “Coming Soon” tag on its page on about the upcoming iOS 4.2 update for iPad. The update has already reached GM status in pre-release, so the general public could be downloading it any day now. Steve Jobs originally announced that it would be available sometime in November.
Since Jobs mentioned the coming update for the iPad last September, users have been wondering when multi-tasking and other features promised in 4.2 would actually arrive. The new page doesn’t answer that question, but it does provide a more detailed glimpse at what the update will provide.
Let’s talk about some of the new features iOS 4.2 will bring to your iPad that the iPhone already has. You’ll finally be able to switch between apps and play audio content in the background with Multitasking. Folders will allow you to cut down on the number of home screens on your iPad. Finally, Game Center and advanced Mail options (unified inbox, threaded messages) round out the pack.
There are a few new (unreleased for any iOS devices) things to be excited about, too. AirPrint (which, since it’s featured on the new Apple site, obviously isn’t being cancelled, regardless of what some think) will allow you to print mail, photos, and web pages to printers on your wireless network. AirPlay wirelessly streams videos, music, and photos to new models of the Apple TV, and streams music to AirPlay-enabled speakers and receivers or the Airport Express.
Other coming features include finding text within web pages and keyboard/dictionary and accessibility enhancements. With enhanced enterprise support, Apple offers businesses stronger security and device management options, which should help further Apple’s cause in bringing iOS to business IT.
Additionally, iOS 4.2 is being hailed as a performance improvement for 3G users. So, if you rushed to update your older iPhone and are now ready to throw it at the wall for its painfully slow speed, hang on a little bit longer because things could get better.
Various sites are reporting inside sources as mentioning that the update will release sometime this week. The new release of this information suggests it’ll be a few days still before the update arrives, because otherwise Apple wouldn’t have bothered. You may want to watch for the next iTunes update, as it often precedes an iOS update.
UPDATE: As readers have noted, the page itself isn’t new, but the “Coming Soon” tag is. The content of this article has been updated to reflect that.
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