Is Wi-Fi iPad Bug Delaying Apple's iOS 4.2 Release?

Several prominent Mac-centric websites and blogs are reporting that Wi-Fi connectivity bug affecting the iPad is preventing Apple from releasing iOS 4.2, the update to the mobile operating system powering its wildly popular iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices.

According to a posting on the MacStories website, developers who got their hands on the Gold Master release of the app have had trouble making and sustaining a Wi-Fi connections with their iPads.

"Wi-Fi issues came up with the (Gold Master) build Apple released on Nov. 1," according to today's post on MacStories. "Apple may release a second GM build as early as tomorrow to deal with Wi-Fi issues."

"This will delay the rumored Nov. 12 release for at least a week while it is tested, but may not get public release until the following week as it appears Apple will be testing it vigorously," it added.

Apple officials were not immediately available to comment on the purported iPad Wi-Fi glitch or the timeline for the eventual release of iOS 4.2.

Other blogs and Apple-tracking websites and bulletin boards including MacRumors have offered conflicting reports with some posters claiming they've had no troubles with the Gold Master release and others reiterating the faltering connectivity issue.

"I've never had problems with WiFi and my iPad," a poster identified as "lozpop" wrote on the MacRumors forum. "Ironically, since I've installed the 4.2 Golden Master, WiFi is clearly having problems."

Another poster, calling himself "Don Kosak" wrote, "Hmmm, no problems so far. The apps I'm testing both heavily use the Internet connection."

While Apple itself never set a specific release date for iOS 4.2, several sources, including one identified by MacStories as an "unnamed AT&T source," said they were told the update would be released at 10 a.m. PT today.

When Apple CEO Steve Jobs first detailed the new features that would be included in the iOS 4.2 release in September, he said it was "all about the iPad," promising to bring multitasking features to the iPad and wireless printing functionality, via AirPrint, that would allow users to print from any printer remotely.

But this week's release of the Mac OS X 10.6.5 update didn't include AirPrint, setting off rampant speculation that it would not be included in today's expected release of iOS 4.2.

For now, Apple fans are left to wait, wonder and commiserate over what an iPad Wi-Fi flaw they say is keeping them from establishing a connection.

Basically, even if the iPad manages to successfully connect to a local network, the connection is lost after a few minutes," MacStories reports. "This seems to be the most common problem among users, although some can’t simply use Safari at all. The bug has been reported to Apple, and they apparently decided to delay the release of iOS 4.2 to fix the bug."

Larry Barrett is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

TAGS:

iPhone, iPad, Apple, snow leopard, iOS 4.2

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