iOS 4.2.1 Software Update contains over 100 new features for iPad; here’s the full list

Apple Online StoreApple’s newly-released iOS 4.2.1 Software Update for iPad contains over 100 new features for iPad including support for multitasking, folders, unified mail inbox, Game Center, AirPrint, AirPlay, and many system improvements. It is highly recommended for all iPad users and includes the following:

• Multitasking support for third-party apps
– Multitasking user interface to quickly move between apps, adjust screen brightness, control playback, lock screen-rotation, and manage print jobs
– Support for audio apps to play in the background
– VoIP apps can receive and maintain calls in the background or when device is asleep
– Apps can monitor location and take action while running in the background
– Alerts and messages can be pushed to apps using push and local notifications
– Apps can complete tasks in the background
• Folders to better organize and access apps
• Mail improvements
– Unified inbox to view emails from all accounts in one place
– Fast inbox switching to quickly switch between different email accounts
– Threaded messages to view multiple emails from the same conversation
– Import .ics files into Calendar
– Open attachments with compatible third-party apps
– File or delete search results
– Option to select size of photo attachments
– Messages in the Outbox can be edited or deleted
• Game Center
– Send and receive friend requests
– Invite friends to multi-player games over the Internet
– Play multi-player games by auto-matching with other players
– View Leaderboards and Achievements
– Discover new games from friends
• AirPrint
– Print mail, photos, web pages, and more directly to AirPrint compatible printers on a local wireless network
• AirPlay
– Wirelessly stream videos, music, and photos to Apple TV
– Wirelessly stream music to AirPlay-enabled speakers or receivers, including AirPort Express
• Find text on web pages in Safari
• Use Spotlight to search the web and Wikipedia
• Suggestions and recent searches appear during a web search
• Support for TV show rentals using iTunes
• Create and edit iTunes playlists on device
• Support for iTunes gifting of apps
• Send and accept calendar invitations wirelessly with supported CalDAV servers
• Support for MobileMe calendar sharing
• Enhanced location privacy
– A Location Services icon appears in the status bar to indicate when Location Services are being used
– Location Services can be enabled and disabled per app
– Indication of apps that have requested your location within the last 24 hours
• Additional Parental Controls
– Prevent adding friends in Game Center and deletion of apps
– Restrict changes to Accounts and Location Services settings
• New languages, dictionaries and keyboards
• New fonts available in Notes
• Wirelessly sync notes using IMAP-based mail accounts
• Automatic spellcheck
• Silence background sounds using the Silent switch on the side of iPad
• Improved support for Bluetooth AVRCP
• Persistent WiFi connection to receive push notifications
• Support for Bluetooth braille displays and International braille tables, control VoiceOver using an external keyboard, and other accessibility enhancements
• Wireless delivery of carrier settings updates for iPad WiFi + 3G
• Improved enterprise support
– Support for third-party Mobile Device Management solutions
– Enables wireless distribution of enterprise applications
– Exchange Server 2010 compatibility
– Support for multiple Exchange ActiveSync accounts
– Support for Juniper Junos Pulse and Cisco AnyConnect SSL VPN apps (available from the App Store)
• More than 1,500 new developer APIs
• Bug fixes

Products compatible with this software update:
• iPad
• iPad WiFi + 3G

For feature descriptions and complete instructions, see the user guides for iPad here.

Information on the security content of this update is available here.

This update is available via iTunes.


  1. Making the orientation lock into a mute button on the iPad is a huge step backward. I hope the next time it gets an iOS update, one of the features on this list is a user identifiable switch on the side.

    Apple had the perfect compromise in enabling mute by holding down the volume rocker for a few seconds. I thought it was a very clever tactic from the first time I tried it. Boggles the mind why they would change it.

  2. @R2
    I disagree with you. Whenever I used the volume bar it made a sound and at times I pushed the wrong end. So I much prefer the mute button. And how much trouble is it to turn on the rotation lock? Personally i have used the mute button about 20 times as often as I have locked the rotation. In fact I have only locked the rotation twice that I recall. I say it is a step forward.

  3. If you install the three 4.2 beta print configuration files manually, you can activate printing for shared printers on your local network. It works fine. I printed from Numbers this morning in my iPad.

  4. Airprint is a joke. SJ in the demo said it would just work, he left off that it only works with about 10 printers. This is a big let down


    For whatever reason, Airprint for any printer was pulled at the last minute and instead only works with a handful of printers.

    Here is an airprint fix which will allow Airprint to work with any attached printer..

    Works flawlessly for me, but do at your own risk.

  5. Bummed about the elimination of the mechanical rotation lock! I used that several times a day. What was wrong with holding down the sound button to mute? That was easy.
    Overall, 4.2 is great though.

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