Apple Releases iOS 4.2 Golden Master: 5 Things To Know

Apple Monday evening began offering the golden master build of iOS 4.2 to developers, bringing it one step closer to releasing the full-blown iOS 4.2 upgrade for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

In addition to such long-awaited capabilities for the iPad as multitasking, Apple has confirmed a number of other items to make the release that much more enticing for Apple lovers. Here's a quick rundown of the highlights, many of which Apple CEO Steve Jobs demonstrated at Apple's iPod release event in September.

1. AirPlay: AirPlay, which wasn't included in the last developer release for iOS but has returned, allows for wireless streaming of various media -- including video and photos, as well as audio -- to both the new Apple TV and other AirPlay-compatible products. It's an upgrade to AirTunes, which was Apple's similar, but audio-only, feature.

2. AirPrint: Wireless printing from the iPad, through which users can generate physical copies of photos, e-mail messages and Web documents via a PrintCenter app, and send them from the iPad to compatible printers.

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3. Multitasking (iPad) : Given that the iPad's current OS version is 3.2.2, it lacks many of the options available to devices, like iPhone 4, that have iOS 4.0. One of those is multitasking, which the iPad should gain through the 4.2 upgrade.

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4 . Folders (iPad): Same deal: iPad gets iOS folders, gets up to speed with iPhone and iPod Touch.

5. Game Center and Enteprise Management (iPad): The iPad stands to gain more that will make it attractive to gamers and enterprise users alike -- the former through Game Center, which enables easier gaming and game content sharing between users, and the latter through management controls such as stronger security and tighter e-mail account policy settings.

New languages, support for SMS ringtones, brightness enhancements and other additional features are part of the release, as well. Apple detailed many of the changes in a dedicated Web page it first put up in early September.