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Handhelds IOS Iphone Operating Systems Apple

Apple iOS 4.2 Hands-On 212

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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  • 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 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 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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 22, 2010 @02:26PM (#34308490)
    Make sure you have iTunes 10.1 - upgrading iTunes worked for me. The iOS update is still underway, though... 28 min. and rising. What's up with their CDN?!
  • 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 MouseR ( 3264 ) on Monday November 22, 2010 @02:28PM (#34308506) Homepage

    Not quite. Unless said apps are made to multitask and recognized as such, they are effectively put to sleep and revived for instant-on to where you left it. Processes that need to run can register special threads that keep running. Eg, chrono apps, chat apps etc.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Monday November 22, 2010 @02:31PM (#34308560)

    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 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: []

    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.

  • by alen ( 225700 ) on Monday November 22, 2010 @02:43PM (#34308726)

    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.

  • 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 Cinder6 ( 894572 ) on Monday November 22, 2010 @02:52PM (#34308842)

    Easiest way to enable it on the Mac is to find a program called "Hacktivator". []

    I did it with the GM, and it works perfectly.

  • by GweeDo ( 127172 ) on Monday November 22, 2010 @02:56PM (#34308884) Homepage

    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.

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Monday November 22, 2010 @03:05PM (#34309010) Homepage

    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?

  • by lullabud ( 679893 ) on Monday November 22, 2010 @03:05PM (#34309012) Homepage

    What the GP means is multitasking for the iPad, which has so far been absent, thus this is a huge release for iPad owners while only a minor release for iPhone owners.

  • by camperslo ( 704715 ) on Monday November 22, 2010 @03:11PM (#34309056)

    Beware that the user agreement for iTunes gives Apple permissions you probably don't expect, like gathering data on how you use you machine. Expect that they see app log files. Many of the disc ripping and burning utilities, as well as video conversion utilities such as HandBrake log the files or disks processed. ClamX AV keeps a log of files scanned. Note the use of "verfiy compliance" below:

    From the popup user agreement seen when updating iTunes:

    "4. Consent to Use of Data. You agree that Apple and its subsidiaries may collect and use technical and related information, including but not limited to technical information about your computer, system and application software, and peripherals, that is gathered periodically to facilitate the provision of software updates, product support and other services to you (if any) related to the Apple Software and to verify compliance with the terms of this License.Apple may use this information, as long as it is in a form that does not personally identify you, to improve our products or to provide services or technologies to you."

    In the past after crashes/force-quits etc., there was an option to opt-in to sending this additional information automatically and periodically. Later it acts without you seeing it, and you're not told how to reverse the opt-in.

    There are settings in the prefs for the console app to turn off sending the "anonymous" info. I use the quotes, because besides you IP address, some of the log files contain things like your user name (that of home folder). []

    Even if you don't mind Apple collecting the info, you might not wanting it sent over some net connections.
    transmission is periodic, not just after a crash.

    Some are using the utility Little Snitch to block outgoing connections to []

    There's a utility that Xcode installs that can configure some reporting. /Developer/Applications/Utilities/;jsessionid=57C8B4C60DD7F68968B6617155516075.node0?messageID=11555436&#11555436 []

    Looking under "Diagnostic and Usage Info" in console shows a number of things that get sent.

    With the current terms of the iTunes agreement, I have to wonder if this info-gathering behavior is now enabled without the crash opt-in user approval. Maybe there's not a problem, but this is worthy of examination. It seems a bit much for the iTunes license to affect things outside the use of iTunes.

    Apple makes great hardware and is generally very responsive to issues. If there's a problem and users are vocal about it, they seem likely to do what they can to satisfy people.

  • by DrgnDancer ( 137700 ) on Monday November 22, 2010 @03:14PM (#34309114) Homepage

    A thing to be careful with: Turn by turn navigation software will typically keep navigating in the background unless you completely close it using the taskbar. I used my phone to get me somewhere in Boston last month (walking). I used to Home key to background the task and stuck the phone in my pocket when I got there. 30-45 Minutes later I pulled the phone out and again and realized that I was all but out of juice. The phone had been navigating the whole time I ate lunch,and GPS navigation *devours* battery life.

  • by skyfex ( 708937 ) on Monday November 22, 2010 @03:21PM (#34309206)
    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 some Apple apps. The whole point of the way iOS multitasking was design was that you shouldn't have to use a task manager. Task managing is something that is utterly pointless for a human being to do, and it's insanely stupid that we're actually still doing it in Windows/Mac OS/Linux.
  • Find iphone (Score:2, Informative)

    by cstream_chris ( 776009 ) on Monday November 22, 2010 @03:35PM (#34309338)
    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 Denis Lemire ( 27713 ) on Monday November 22, 2010 @04:09PM (#34309748) Homepage

    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 vux984 ( 928602 ) on Monday November 22, 2010 @04:29PM (#34309990)

    meh, that silly "weapons" clause has been floating around EULA's forever in one form or another.

    From Windows 2000 Professional for example: [] ...You specifically agree not to export or re-export the SOFTWARE PRODUCT (or portions thereof) [...] (ii) to any person or entity who you know or have reason to know will utilize the SOFTWARE PRODUCT (or portions thereof) in the design, development or production of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons;...

    Its appearance in iTunes is likely just some copy-pasta.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 22, 2010 @04:33PM (#34310018)
    Interesting, thanks. Blocking in my WiFi router causes iTunes to download the iOS update, but once the dl is complete, I get "an unknown error occured, check your network settings or try again later" (twice). Unblocked the radar-URL, now it installs.

    Maybe there's not a problem, but this is worthy of examination.

    Maybe there is, and yes it is! Someone release the wireshark on this!

  • 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 []

  • 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.


  • by aardwolf64 ( 160070 ) on Monday November 22, 2010 @04:47PM (#34310162) Homepage

    Double-tap home, find it in the list, tap-hold, click the minus sign.

  • 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 aristotle-dude ( 626586 ) on Monday November 22, 2010 @08:25PM (#34312414)

    Unless there's some point I'm missing?

    You are missing the point that some people take their iPads with them to work, to meetings and other places. Other people keep their iPad next to their bed.

    Now consider how difficult it is to "mute" a device with an audible alert going off.

    First you, you have to press the home button to wake the screen, then swipe right to unlock the screen, which might trigger an unlock sound and then press the volume rocker.

    If you are in a meeting, the last thing you want to do is pull out the iPad, enable the screen, swipe to open which might trigger another sound.

    If you are in bed and you try to silence your iPad, you will assault your pupils and anyone sleeping beside you with a blinding light of the screen turning on and then possibly trigger an unlock sound before you can press the rocker.

    With a mute switch, you can just flick the switch without turning on the screen and you can do it even if the iPad is in a messenger bag.

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