Apple's iOS 4.2 Update: 10 Ways It Will Change the iPad

News Analysis: Apple has released iOS 4.2, which means iPad owners can now enjoy multitasking, folder support, and many more features on their tablets.

Apple has finally released the long-awaited iOS 4.2 update for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. But it's the operating system's functionality on the iPad that means the most to folks, for with it comes all the features that most consumers have been hoping to have since they originally got their hands on the device earlier this year. Included in the update are multitasking and folder support, among several other new features that will likely cause many iPad owners to quickly update their tablet's OS.

But for those that haven't already done so, it's probably a good time to find out what's in the new update-and what isn't. As mentioned, multitasking is there, but Flash is still nowhere to be found. And with the new functionality iOS 4.2 affords, it seems clearer now than ever that Apple's tablet is prepared to take on netbooks.

Here are 10 things that every iPad owner should know about the new OS.

1. Here comes multitasking

Multitasking has been one of the most glaring omissions from the iPad since the device launched. But now it's available, which means users can now open a program, get out of it to open another, and quickly pick up where they left off on the original app. It's an extremely important function for any mobile device, and it's nice to finally see it on the iPad.

2. It's a major step up

The first thing users will realize when they start using iOS 4.2 on the iPad is that it's a major step up over the previous software version they were using on Apple's tablet. Not only does it come with several outstanding features, but it also boasts some enhancements to the UI along the way that should make most folks quite pleased.

3. AirPlay has arrived. . .

Apple's addition of AirPlay to iOS 4.2 could be a key component in how people use their iPads going forward. With AirPlay, iPad or iPhone users can "push" multimedia content from their devices to other AirPlay-compatible products. It will come in especially handy for the Apple TV, the hardware company's set-top box that allows users to stream content to their televisions.

4. . . . And so has AirPrint

Perhaps one of the most important updates in iOS 4.2 is the addition of AirPrint. With the help of the new feature, users can print from several different applications on the iPad to AirPrint-compatible printers. And it's something that many enterprise customers should be happy to see.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...