Apple release iOS 4.2.1

November 22, 2010

Apple have released the latest version of their iOS software notably targeted to bring features to the much loved iPad. Including;

  • Multitasking
  • Fast app switching
  • Unified mail inbox
  • AirPlay
  • AirPrint


The most anticipated feature to arrive on the iPad.  Like the iPhone, you’ll be able to double click the home button to jump to applications running in the background.

Well I say running – the reality is the application is in a state of hibernation.  It does not receive events from the system but does maintain its resources and the interface is still present and whislt hidden, it does remove the need for the system to reload it.

That said, certain specialist applications have the ability to support Apple’s version multitasking allowing the App to retain an operational thread. AirPlay is a great example of this.  Set a film playing to the Apple TV and then go off and check your email.

It’s not true multitasking still but this operation does allow the iPad to retain its long battery life.

Fast App Switch.

This does not list the applications running but does, conveniently, display a list a recently used apps.

As explained above, simply double click the home button to retrieve the list.  It’s a small feature with a massive impact on productivity.  The “dishwasher effect” addition in that once you use it you can’t live without it.

Unified mail inbox

This has to be another big feature release to take note of.

If you have got more than one account, one for work and another for personal, you no longer need to switch between the two.  That’s because there’s a unified view that displays all inboxes together; the mail boxes remain separate but are just presented in a single view.

Also, mail conversations are now threaded so that all messages in a reply chain appear grouped together in a submenu of the mailbox in question.


AirPlay allows you to stream both music and video from your iPad or PC. And in an unusual step for Apple, AirPlay also supports some third party products, such as speaker docks, AV receivers and stereo systems from the vendors such as Denon, Marantz, JBL, Bowers & Wilkins, and iHome.

In addition, AirPlay can also be used as a host for Apple’s new version of Apple TV allowing you a stream from the iPad to Apple TV whilst then performing another task on the iPad.


This is a next-generation wireless printing solution that simplifies output by completely eliminating the need for printer drivers.  It’s essentially Apples version of DNLA.

There are only a few HP printers that support AirPrint, HP Photosmart, HP LaserJet Pro and HP Officejet.