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iOS 4.2 Central: Apple releases iOS 4.2 download today

Here at iOS 4.2 Central we will bring you all the latest news and information about Apple’s release of the new iOS 4.2 for iPhone, iPod Touch, and the Apple iPad, including breakdown of new features and changes.

Latest iOS 4.2 News

All the latest news and updates on the released of iOS 4.2

iOS 4.2 released for download

22nd November is the date when Apple announced that the new iOS 4.2 will be available to download for all users of iOS devices.

The much awaited update is scheduled to be released around 7am pacific time, and as usual we would expect slow downloads to start with as everyone tries to update at the same time.

You can read more about the new features of the iOS 4.2 for iPhone and iPod Touch below. The upgrade will also be available for the Apple iPad.

iOS 4.2 delayed until end of November

According to The Telegraph sources close to Apple has said that the release of iOS 4.2 for iPhone and iPad has been pushed back to the 24th November .

It was expected that Apple would release iOS 4.2 at the same time as they announced the release of new iTunes 10.1, but due to reported issues with Apple iPad Wi-Fi in the latest GM release to developers Apple has had to push the launch back slightly. An updated version of iOS 4.2 for iPad was released to developers at the same time as iTunes 10.1 was released.

One can argue that this is not actually a delay as when Apple announced the new iOS 4.2 they just said that an expected release date would be in November.

What is iOS 4.2 and new features

iOS 4.2 is considered a small upgrade to iOS 4 and 4.1, but it will add some marquee new features for both the iPhone, iPod Touch, and the Apple iPad, including the new Apple AirPlay technology as well as some bug fixes.

Here are the key new features and upgrades that comes to the iPhone and iPod Touch as part of the iOS 4.2 upgrade. We will also soon post a similar overview of features in the new iOS 4.2 for Apple iPad, which differs slightly from the iPhone and iPod Touch.

AirPlay – streaming multimedia

Apple AirPlay is the new platform for streaming media directly from iTunes to compatible devices, including the 2nd generation Apple TV and AirPlay compatible sound systems.

Unlike its predecessor the AirTunes system, AirPlay allows you to stream not only music but also other multimedia, including video and information about the track and artist you are listening to.

Once you have installed the new iOS 4.2 you will find that AirPlay becomes an option when in the iPod app or when using the native video app or YouTube. The control appears as a small tv screen like symbol with a triangle at the far right of the screen, just above the volume control. Tap the icon once to get a list of connected AirPlay devices, and then just tap again on the device you want to stream your media to.

A bit surprisingly maybe is that there is no AirPlay button added when in the photo app to stream your photos to your Apple TV for example. Same goes for looking at videos you have taken and that are in your photos, but there is a work around where you double tap on the  home button, slide left to get to the sound controller, then slide left again and you will find the AirPlay controller.

The iTunes Store also gets AirPlay, allowing you to for example stream a video podcast directly to your Apple TV.

What will be interesting to see in the future is if AirPlay becomes an option in GameCenter or for third party game apps, which would allow you to stream the game to a compatible device/screen and use your iPhone / iPod Touch as a true games controller.

AirPrint – wireless printing

Another service that is much welcomed in the new iOS 4.2 is wireless printing. With AirPrint you should be able to send almost any page or photo to any printer connected to the same wi-fi network, or even to some printers directly, including the new HP ePrint.

When in the photo app you will now have the additional option in actions to send the photo to print. Also if you have selected several photos the print option appears in the bottom part of the screen as an action.

Text tones for contacts and more choices

One of the other new features is also the ability to set custom text tones for individual contacts, something that surprisingly has not been possible before (must have been a glitch), but you still can’t create or download your own custom text tones, and the new ones are not that great.

Notes and parental control

If you are among those that can’t stand the Marker Felt font in the Notes app, then you will be glad to know that you can now change the font, choosing between Chalkboard and Helvetica in addition to the default Marker Felt. The font settings can be done in the general settings. Speaking of notes, there is currently no AirPrint action associated with the Notes app.

If you have experienced your kids or someone else accidently deleting all your apps or changing other settings on your iPhone, then you will be glad to hear that in the iOS 4.2 you can choose to set general restrictions for several areas including:

  • Restrictions on changing GPS location service
  • Installing or deleting apps
  • changing email accounts
  • accepting friend requests on GameCenter

Search text in Safari

With iOS 4.2 you will finally be able to search for spesific text on a web page as well. That is done through navigating to the page you want to search for text on, tap in the search field a the top of the browser (just like when searching on Google). When you start writing your search query you will see suggested searches from Google, but below you will also see the option showing number of times the search word appears on the page, and if you tap on the word at the bottom there it will highlight the searched words on the page.

What is still missing in iOS 4.2

Even though the new iOS 4.2  brings some great new features to the iPhone and iPod Touch, there are still some gaps that needs to be filled in the future, including:

  • Wireless file transfer and sync – with the introduction of AirPlay and AirPrint Apple has proved that they can deliver wireless solutions to the iPhone, so why not also allow to wirelessly sync or send files between compatible devices?
  • Create / download custom text tones – perhaps not a big issue but can’t see why Apple is so slow in providing this option given that it is already there for ringtones.

Which devices gets what in iOS 4.2

Although iOS 4.2 is a free upgrade for all users, depending on which version of the iPhone or iPod Touch you own you might not get all the features.

  • iPhone 4 and iPod Touch 4 owners will get all features in iOS 4.2
  • iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch 3 owners will not get features relating to 4th generation hardware such as the facetime camera
  • iPhone 3G and iPod Touch 2 will not get features that require higher processor or RAM, and rumors also has it that the iPhone 3G will not get AirPlay functionality
  • iPhone 2G and first generation iPod Touch is not compatible with iOS 4.2

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