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iOS 4.2 multi-tasking comes to the iPad

Sort of... nearly... finally

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iOS version 4.2 is to be launched today, bringing Apple's idea of multi-tasking to the iPad and a load of other good stuff to iOS devices.

The update was announced at the beginning of September, and beta releases have been knocking around for the more adventuresome Apple fan, but later today will see a general release of the update for which the iPad has been waiting, and which everyone else will appreciate too.

Version 4.2 comes with a load of tweaks, but notable is the universal inbox to bring differing email accounts together, the addition of streaming to a an Apple TV box over Apple's AirPlay – and, if you're lucky enough to own one of the handful of supported printers, then AirPrint will give your mobile applications a route to physicality.

But it is multitasking on the iPad that is the big news. Some applications, such as Pandora Radio, can literally run in the background, while others get task-switching, which is often what users want anyway. The iPhone 4 has had the ability for months, but iPad users have been stuck in a single task despite the mechanism being such an advantage on the bigger screen.

Of less advantage, at least to those who read in bed, is the reprogramming of the "orientation lock" button into a "mute" button. If you were in the habit of lying down on your side to read a book then you'll find the change annoying, but apparently we're in a minority.

There's lots more details over at iOS Central ®.

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