Apple's iOS 4.2 Released to Developers, Coming Next Week to Users?

Apple just released to developers the near final version of the update to its mobile operating system – iOS 4.2 for the iPhone and iPad – which means it could be issued to users within the next 10 days.

Apple posted  a message Monday at its developer portal asking programmers to get their apps prepped for iOS 4.2, which means the company should hit the target date of  an early November release of the mobile OS upgrade it previewed in September.

The update would be significant as it will unite all of Apple’s mobile devices under the same OS version – right now the iPhone and iPod touch run iOS 4.2 and 3.2 powers the iPad.

Many of the handy file-organization features iPhone fans enjoy will become available on the iPad with iOS 4.2, which will also bring wireless printing capabilities and what Apple calls AirPlay, a feature that gives users the ability to stream audio, video and photos over Wi-Fi to all Apple devices.

Other features of iOS 4.2 include parental controls, the ability to start a FaceTime call from within a text, MIDI support for mobile apps and in-page search capabilities.

The news of iOS 4.2 comes at a time when the major players in the wireless industry are all releasing significant upgrades to their respective mobile operating systems in a race to dominate the lucrative smartphone sector.

Research In Motion is rolling out new handsets such as the Torch and Bold 9780 running BlackBerry 6 and just unveiled a tablet PC, the BlackBerry PlayBook, juiced up by a new platform called BlackBerry Tablet OS based on QNX software. This refresh kept RIM’s platform from becoming outpaced by the competition as it included a much-needed mobile browser update and better multimedia and social networking tools.

Vendors such as Motorola and HTC are making handsets running Android 2.2,  or Froyo, which is also being rolled out by the carriers to older Android smartphones. That update included major improvements in security and in the mobile app experience. Meanwhile,  Gingerbread, 2.3, will be out by year-end, and Honeycomb, 3.0, optimized for tablets, is expected early in 2011.


Android, iPhone, iPad, Apple, IOS