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Handhelds IOS Iphone Operating Systems Apple

Apple iOS 4.2 Hands-On 212

Posted by kdawson
from the ooh-shiny dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "Apple's highly-anticipated iOS 4.2 update for iPad, iPhone, and the iPod touch finally arrived this morning, along with an update for Apple TV. The update includes Airplay, which enables wireless streaming of video, photos, and music from your iOS device to Apple TV. AirPlay is an exciting new development for iOS device owners who also have Apple TVs. As long as the devices are on the same wireless network, they automatically detect each other. AirPlay also lets users multitask while streaming video to an Apple TV. Unfortunately though, AirPlay is a one-way street. Users cannot stream something they rented on Apple TV to their iOS device. The iOS 4.2 update also included the introduction of AirPrint, which is the wireless printing solution for the iPad. (The ability to print to a printer attached to a local PC or Mac was dropped from the release, however.) Other minor changes Apple squeezed into this update were: better Word document fidelity in iWork, multi-tasking, and Game Center."
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Apple iOS 4.2 Hands-On

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  • As of 1:12PM EST a "Check For Update" still tells me that 3.2.2 is the latest version.

    Hoping I can get the update today and play with it.

  • by aristotle-dude (626586) on Monday November 22, 2010 @02:14PM (#34308320)

    The required files for CUPS in OS X and 10.1 for windows were dropped from the current release and printing can be enabled with third party software on the mac or by obtaining files from the earlier beta of 10.6.5.

  • by BBrown (70466) on Monday November 22, 2010 @02:16PM (#34308330)

    The OP's priorities seem a little odd.

    The big update of iOS 4.x is multitasking. Its far from being a "minor" update.

    And since AirPlay requires the purchase of an additional device, I doubt its a high priority to the majority of ipad users.

    • And since AirPlay requires the purchase of an additional device

      It doesn't, because you can AirPlay to any Mac.

      It makes more sense to use AirPlay with an AppleTV, but people who use mac minis as media PC's can make use of AirPlay as well (although in that case I'd think most people would be putting video on the mini to start with so I'm not sure how widely used it will be).

      • by BBrown (70466) on Monday November 22, 2010 @02:26PM (#34308486)

        It doesn't, because you can AirPlay to any Mac.

        A Mac is an additional device. :-)

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DdJ (10790)

        It doesn't, because you can AirPlay to any Mac.

        How?

        This is the first anyone has mentioned this. Also, none of the people on the iOS developer forums seem to know how.

        Are you sure you're not confusing AirPlay and AirPrint?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Denis Lemire (27713)

          The ability to print to any Mac via AirPrint was supposed to show up in 10.6.5 but for unknown reasons this feature was pulled. Though there are 3rd party apps like Printopia and Fingerprint that will enable add the missing functionality. You can also download the missing files from earlier 10.6.5 seeds to re-enable AirPrinting.

          • by DdJ (10790)

            Sure. But the feature I'm responding to a comment on is AirPlay, not AirPrint. You can send to an AirPlay device from a Macintosh (or Windows PC), but not to a computer.

            (Which is no shock. I'm sure content providers would see streaming to a general purpose computer as a way to enable content piracy. So we can stream to the AppleTV, which only has HDCP-enabled HDMI as a video output option, but not to computers, which can often do all sorts of things with video beyond simply displaying it.)

        • Hmm, I could have sworn I saw ability to stream to iTunes from any iOS device as part of the announcement... I will test later.

      • And since AirPlay requires the purchase of an additional device

        It doesn't, because you can AirPlay to any Mac.

        Really? [apple.com] (Apple does not support it. You can do it with AirFoil, which is not Apple-supported, could break in the future, has been around for a while, is not related to iOS 4.2, and requires the purchase of the software.)

    • by volcanopele (537152) on Monday November 22, 2010 @02:27PM (#34308500)
      From the majority of iPod touch and iPhone users, this is a relatively minor update (unless you have an Apple TV), and clearly the OP is writing about the update from that perspective.
      • by MBGMorden (803437)

        Depends. I still have to test it, but 4.0 flat out broke compatibility of those devices with a lot of 3rd party devices - namely card stereos that let you connect directly to the unit.

        4.1 fixed some of that, but still left it very buggy. Most people said that the music would stutter every 30-40 seconds. My own setup (Sony CDX-GT700HD and an iPod Touch 2nd gen) didn't stutter, but the iPod would crash randomly when connected to the car stereo. About once every few hours it would reboot itself while playin

    • Actually airplay streaming to the iOS device would be neat, since the ipad is a perfect streaming client. But it wont likely happen for whatever (Steve Jobs latest idiotic fad) reason. I am glad there are other solutions which do exactly that, but airplay is the typical half assed apple solution which is perfect 60% of the road and the rest of the 40% only will be added if they feel it with a sting in their wallet.

  • ...and its been stellar. The only thing I find odd is quitting apps. The Home button now goes back to the home screen. To quit an app, you must double-tap the home button to display the task bar where you can close apps much like removing apps from the home screen: tap and hold reveals (-) buttons where you can close items.

    Not all that obvious, and you can not close an app unless you switch out from this app because the currently running app is not displayed in the task bar.

    • by schnikies79 (788746) on Monday November 22, 2010 @02:19PM (#34308376)

      It's been that way on the iPhone 4 and 3gs since iOS 4 came out.

      • by MouseR (3264)

        Yeah. Didn't make it clear I'm running iPad.

        The OS is stellar in general, is what my comment was. Handy been closed to multitasking iOS yet because I didn't renew my iPhone after my gen 1 drowned.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Albanach (527650)

      To quit an app, you must double-tap the home button to display the task bar where you can close apps

      "In multitasking, if you see a task manager... they blew it" - Steve Jobs.

      • by MouseR (3264)

        It's not a task manager.

        It's a task BAR :-p

        But yeah, it needs refining.

        • by Albanach (527650)

          Cydia has implemented it better - their backgrounding lets you hold down the home button to background and tap to quit. Not to mention proper app running in the background rather than just state saving.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by alen (225700)

            i ran cydia's multi tasking on an iphone 3G when 4 first came out. it sucked was being nice. it literally runs the apps in the background which is completely useless if you're not using the app.

            the people who coded apple's multi tasking used to work for Palm and did it in a way to to use as less resources as possible. this is why Android phones are generally more powerful hardware wise than same generation iphones but feel more laggy.

            • by Albanach (527650)

              We know why Apple implemented it the way they did, but it has significant disadvantages too.

              Try running a softphone. An incoming UDP packet can't wake the app, whereas on Cydia it will work just fine.

              They've used a solutions for phones which have a tiny battery on tablets that have a much larger one.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by GweeDo (127172)

              As an Android and iOS developer your comments seem a bit misguided. As long as an Android device is properly responding to onPause() and onResume() there is ZERO reason an Android app should be eating resources in the background. There are no UI events passed to an application that is backgrounded on Android.

              • As long as an Android device is properly responding to onPause() and onResume() there is ZERO reason an Android app should be eating resources in the background.

                "Resources" are not limited to just "UI resources" - they also include CPU, RAM, bandwidth, and interactions with integrated hardware. The very fact that an app continues running in the background means it consumes more resources than if it weren't. This is true on BB devices, and I assume Android and iOS as well.

      • by poetmatt (793785)

        Yup. go steve jobs. [engadget.com]. Do as I say, not as I do?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by knappe duivel (914316)

          Yup. go steve jobs. [engadget.com]. Do as I say, not as I do?

          Sorry but I'm really lazy. If you don't give me a stronger hint about what's behind the link, I'm not going to take the trouble to check it out.

      • by Firehed (942385)

        99% of the time, you have no need to get at the task manager (by which I mean the actual interface to kill apps, not just switch between them). The only time I've ever need to use that was when Mail freaked out on me and forgot how to download messages. Previously I'd have to restart the phone, now I can just kill the app and try again. Just like how in day-to-day use of my laptop, I don't need to use the Force Quit menu. On rare occasion something goes very wrong, but by and large I don't need to mess aro

    • by Jugalator (259273) on Monday November 22, 2010 @02:23PM (#34308440) Journal

      It's been there since iOS 4, and Apple says that you should normally not have to fully quit the apps anymore due to how multitasking works. They shouldn't consume much resources when not being in use. So that's probably why quitting stuff has been moved out of the way a bit.

      I can confirm that Apple isn't bullshitting on all this, since until my pretty rare iPhone 3Gs resets, I often end up having 15 apps running at a time with no noticeable impact to battery life or sluggishness.

      • by kimvette (919543)

        It's been there since iOS 4, and Apple says that you should normally not have to fully quit the apps anymore due to how multitasking works.

        Which can be interesting if you run tomtom. When you're in a store you will hear "turn left on main street" coming from your pocket/purse/etc. if you don't kill the app.

      • by Espectr0 (577637)

        The apps listed on the taskbar don't mean that they are on memory, just that they have been recently executed. Sadly, there is no visible way to know if the app is still on memory. iOS will automatically close programs when a new one request more memory than currently is available.

        When hitting the home button twice and choosing a program, if it doesn't resume where you left it, it means that iOS closed it (or that the program doesn't support the multitasting API)

    • It's not totally obvious how to quit apps, but there's generally no need - because any app you quit is really more suspended than backgrounded, so it's using no system resources just sitting there (unless it's set to do some background task like playing music, and then you want it doing something of course).

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      What I want, let me CHOOSE what apps stay running. That way I dont have to go into my phone weekly and disable the 60 apps running in the background.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by skyfex (708937)
        If you're going into the recent apps list (double clicking home) and remove every item, then what've you done is clear a recent app list, not close running applications. iOS will close applications running in the background if it's out of memory or the apps have been idle for a while. It's a common misconception that the list is a running apps list, leading some to think they have to close them. I think the only apps that will run continuously in the background no matter what is the media player app and som
      • by mlts (1038732) *

        Jailbreak, use RemoveBG, an add-on for SBSettings. A lot faster than zapping jiggly little icons.

    • by Graff (532189)

      The only thing I find odd is quitting apps. The Home button now goes back to the home screen. To quit an app, you must double-tap the home button to display the task bar where you can close apps much like removing apps from the home screen: tap and hold reveals (-) buttons where you can close items.

      Apps don't really run or quit on iOS. They suspend their operation and re-start their operation. The list you are talking about is more like a list of recently run apps. When you press the home button you are putting the app in a state of "suspended animation", when you double-click the home button and choose another app then your current app is again put into a state of "suspended animation"

      It's up to the app itself to decide how to handle the suspend and wake events. Some apps keep a snapshot of their sta

    • by Graff (532189) on Monday November 22, 2010 @04:36PM (#34310050)

      Sorry, my previous reply is a bit off. Apparently the task bar method does send a message to the app to quit, I wasn't aware that it also did that. Here's the two methods to get an app to quit:

      iPhone 101: Quitting apps in iOS 4 [tuaw.com]

  • Multitasking is a minor change? AirPlay and AirPrint are so world shaking that took all the space of the announcement?
    • by malakai (136531) on Monday November 22, 2010 @02:23PM (#34308442) Journal

      And AirPlay is basically UPNP Media. My GF's droid auto-detected my World Book Storage and Xbox Media Center and made available all our videos/pictures/music on her droidx. This stuff is becoming child's play. I can play HD movies on her phone through my old xbox to the TV. And control it from her phone.

      I wish Apple hadn't made a whole new standard, but I guess that's their deal.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Lumpy (12016)

        Childs play huh.... Please do an instant rewind with a UPnP media box. it SUCKS.

        SMB share is the only way for it to work smoothly. WTF cant they simply do it that way?

      • yes upnp media but somewhat less flakey, the problem upnp has mostly is that the servers are somewhat flakey, and especially on the mac there is a lack of decent upnp clients.

  • I have a nice pair of Sennheiser headphones that worked with my Iphone when I first got it but now it refuses to pair with them. Apple claims it supports A2DP natively but I'll believe it when I see it.
    • How is the lag on the bluetooth Senns? I've read that there are audio lags when watching video with bluetooth headphones.
      • I haven't seen any lag but then I've only been able to use them for a short time before the Iphone refused to pair with them. I've used them on my pc and they work well.
  • ... have they somewhat improved the miserable performance of these devices on iOS 4.x? I hate being continuously reminded that I'm not complying to the upgrade treadmill by using a not-yet-2-years-old-paid-500EUR-for-the-privilege phone... :/

    • I had a 3G on iOS 4.0.1 before getting my iPhone 4, and the performance of the 3G on iOS4 is abyssmal. Absolutely blown away by the iPhone 4.

      The 3G is essentially the same processor platform as the original iPhone and IMHO would have been better off if Apple capped the 3G at iOS3, as they did the original iPhone.

      • We're replacing my wife's 3G at Christmas, it just can't keep up anymore. My 3Gs runs 4.x flawlessly though. Which kind of make me sad, I'd like an excuse to upgrade to the prettier screen :-)

    • by frinkster (149158)

      ... have they somewhat improved the miserable performance of these devices on iOS 4.x? I hate being continuously reminded that I'm not complying to the upgrade treadmill by using a not-yet-2-years-old-paid-500EUR-for-the-privilege phone... :/

      You are unfortunately in the minority. Most 3G users should have already upgraded to the iPhone 4.

      At least in the USA, the process is pretty ridiculous:
      1) Upgrade to the iPhone 4 for $200 while keeping your grandfathered-in unlimited data plan
      2) Wipe and then jailbreak your iPhone 3G
      3) Sell your iPhone 3G on eBay or Craigslist for $250
      4) Profit.

      Everyone I know that had a 3G used this method for upgrading - at least in my area Verizon is no better than AT&T so there is no reason to wait for them to

    • Downgrade your 3G back to 3.1.2

      There is a lot of material online to guide you through the process.
  • by swfranklin (578324) on Monday November 22, 2010 @02:41PM (#34308702) Journal

    TFA is all about AirPlay, which to me is a niche feature. Maybe not minor, but I doubt most iPhone/iPad owners will ever use it. There are a lot of nice updates, as shown on Apple's site:

    http://www.apple.com/ios/ [apple.com]

    AirPrint, Find My iPhone/Pad/Pod, on-demand remote wipe, respond to calendar invitations, SMS message tones, on-device TV show rental... Lots of features that I suspect will get more use than AirPlay.

    • It was a seemingly minor thing when released, but was one of the biggest usability increases in OS browsing since the file browser.

      Every single person I show this to (who hasn't already used it) is impressed by the capabilities... and it was a minor addition to 10.5.

      I think AirPlay will be the same. Sure you have UPnP and DNLA, but Apple has solved some of the biggest issues with those file-sharing implementations that make it work different and better (ie, seamless cutover from one device to another, supp

  • Would be nice if Airplay would stream through something else. That handy Remote app from Apple is great but limits you to your iTunes library on your computer. I'd rather see it work with another iPhone.

  • MIDI (Score:5, Informative)

    by NiceGeek (126629) on Monday November 22, 2010 @02:50PM (#34308822)

    I'm surprised no one has mentioned that 4.2 gives the iPhone/iPad native MIDI support. As a musician, this is huge.

    • by Joe U (443617)

      QUICK! Someone fire up canyon.mid!

    • CoreMIDI is exciting, I'm hoping that someone releases an actual hardware interface that supports it soon. As much as I've had like with wifi solutions at home, I'd rather have a set of cables. I know there's the Line6 adapter but it's their own thing.
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      I'm surprised no one has mentioned that 4.2 gives the iPhone/iPad native MIDI support. As a musician, this is huge.

      Really? My only exposure to MIDI has been really annoying sound-tracks on badly designed web pages that blare a badly representation of an instrument at deafening volumes.

      I was wondering if anybody actually used it for anything that didn't sound like a cheap Casio keyboard (ie. Complete Crap).

      What does this do for me as a user? Will it make games better?

      • Re:MIDI (Score:4, Informative)

        by iksbob (947407) on Monday November 22, 2010 @06:06PM (#34311084)

        MIDI: Musical Instrument Digital Interface
        Rather than transmit music as an audio stream, MIDI sends parameters describing how an instrument is being played - the note, intensity, expression variables and such. The MIDI music you heard on old websites sounded crappy thanks to how that information was used to create an audio stream to feed to your speakers. That is, the software instruments on your computer sucked. This is not a fault in MIDI's design, but in the specific software implementation on your computer. Or, it's quite possible the music just sucked. :)

      • Re:MIDI (Score:4, Informative)

        by node 3 (115640) on Monday November 22, 2010 @07:21PM (#34311888)

        I'm surprised no one has mentioned that 4.2 gives the iPhone/iPad native MIDI support. As a musician, this is huge.

        Really? My only exposure to MIDI has been really annoying sound-tracks on badly designed web pages that blare a badly representation of an instrument at deafening volumes.

        That's not true. What it is is your only exposure that you're aware of. You've heard a lot of MIDI-involved music, just no one ever told you that's what it was. Turn on your radio.

        I was wondering if anybody actually used it for anything that didn't sound like a cheap Casio keyboard (ie. Complete Crap).

        MIDI doesn't mean the sounds, it means the protocol for interfacing electronic musical equipment. Turn on your radio, you will find no shortage of non-"Complete Crap" MIDI music.

        What does this do for me as a user? Will it make games better?

        No, it won't make games better, and for you specifically, it will probably have no real impact. If you were a musician, however, this is *HUGE*. Imagine being able to control your entire musical setup from an iPad or iPhone. Or go the other way and record from your keyboard directly to an iOS device.

  • by stokessd (89903) on Monday November 22, 2010 @03:24PM (#34309224) Homepage

    It seems really pretty dumb to stream media (except when on travel or sharing a few recent photos) from the smallest device you own in terms of storage space, and battery life. I want to be able to stream from my Mac (PC whatever) TO the iOS devices. I'm perfectly fine with limiting the formats so I have to transcode on the sender. That would make the appleTV a perfect media center thin client. It would also give me all sorts of music when mowing the grass for instance with my phone. I could watch a movie in bed that I just downloaded from the net without adding media that might be a one-time viewing into my iTunes library and syncing.

    Apple already does this with the airport express and DAAP (and friends: DMAP, DPAP), this should not be a big leap to treat my iPhone as an airport express of sorts.

    Sheldon

    • There are various solutions to achieve that, none by apple which does not like to have its devices as clients as it seems. Twonky media server and a upnp client does it so do various streaming server and client solutions which are readily available.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      It seems really pretty dumb to stream media (except when on travel or sharing a few recent photos) from the smallest device you own in terms of storage space, and battery life.

      That "except when on travel or sharing a few recent photos" is huge. These are mobile devices after all! Visit your parents, hit a button on your phone and you can pop a video on their TV. Go to a party with a cool song no one's heard, you can play it to the hosts speakers with no cables. AirPlay solves the problem of everyone huddlin

  • Find iphone (Score:2, Informative)

    by cstream_chris (776009)
    For me the best new feature will be Find My iPhone - a service that used to required the $99 mobile me subscription, but is now simply included free. Works for Iphone 4.0 w/ iOS 4.2 Allows you to locate, show a message, play a sound, or remotely lock/wipe device.
  • by Bigbutt (65939) on Monday November 22, 2010 @04:40PM (#34310094) Homepage Journal

    Unfortunately Apple still is behind the curve on making PDFs readable. Many new PDFs use jpeg 2000 for images which leave portions of my PDFs blank. It's the same on the iPhone. I can read them fine on my PowerBook G4 and MacBook Pro and even my Windows 7 box, but not on the iPad.

    [John]

  • Did Apple really need it's own version of industry standard DLNA?

    "There are nearly 8,000 products on the market that are DLNA Certified [10]. This includes TVs, DVD and Blu-ray players, games consoles, digital media players, photo frames, cameras, NAS storage, PCs, mobile handsets, and more" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DLNA [wikipedia.org]

    Android devices are already supporting this, you can bet the coming onslaught of Chrome tablets will support it too.

    Apples wireless sharing offering is looking a bit silly.. why

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