Apple (s aapl) updated its website today to announce the impending release of iOS 4.2 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The update will be available today through iTunes at 10:00 a.m. Pacific, or 1:oo p.m. Eastern. A new feature page has been posted at Apple’s site ahead of the release.
Most features, like AirPrint wireless printing, multitasking and folder for iPad, and AirPlay audio and video streaming have been previewed before, and were expected. One unexpected feature is the introduction of Find My iPhone, iPad or iPod touch for non-Mobile Me subscribers. The feature won’t be coming to every device, but latest generation model (iPhone 4, fourth-gen iPod touch and iPad) owners will have free access as of today.
To access the new device-finding service, just go to settings once you’ve installed the 4.2 update and add a new MobileMe account through Mail, Contact and Calendars. You’ll be prompted to enter your MobileMe ID, but using your Apple ID that you use with the iTunes store will give non-Mobile Me subscribers access to the Find My Device feature. Once enabled, you’ll be able to locate your device, lock it and remotely wipe its data either through an app from Apple or on the web at Me.com.
You can get the update by plugging your device into your computer and clicking the “Check for Update” button that appears on the info screen for your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. As a rule, I always sync my device right before updating to make sure I have a recent backup to restore from should anything go wrong.
Users looking forward to AirPrint will be somewhat disappointed, as recent builds have only included the ability to print directly to select HP (s hpq) ePrint printers, instead of to any printer attached through a Mac or PC with printer sharing enabled. There are some new bridge applications that can help get around this limitation, though, like Printopia.
Apple TV will be getting a 4.1 software update today as well, so that you can use AirPlay with your iOS 4.2 devices to stream audio and video. Audio streaming worked with beta builds, but those test versions of the software weren’t able to transmit video.
I can’t wait to get my hands on this one! Let us know how your update day is going, and if you’re having any problems and/or great success with the update process.
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