Monday, 15 November 2010 11:49

On potential eve of iOS 4.2 launch, Beatweek talks 4.3

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Apple's iOS 4.2 might be launching tomorrow or not until late November, but there's a suggestion that iPad users might still be getting an update as 4.2 will be the 'first' iOS 4 the iPad has access to and it will probably need an update!

With iOS having gone from 4.0 to 4.1 with some bug fixes in between, and iOS 4.2 launching sometime in the next two weeks to meet its November deadline, or perhaps as some have rumoured, Tuesday (which would be Wednesday for us), any new x.0 software release always comes with bugs.

Sometimes, capabilities are lost, or things that worked smoothly under the old OS version are now less smooth or not as good as before.

An example is typing long SMS messages on an iPhone 3GS. The first message seems to type at normal speed, but after a while, typing gets really slow. This first happened to me way back in the iPhone OS 2.0 update days, and took some 2.x revisions to fix the issue until it re-appeared in 4.x.

Hopefully it is fixed in iOS 4.2.

However, for iPhones and iPod Touches, iOS 4.2 really will a 4.2 OS, with two major OS revisions. 

For the iPad, it will be the equivalent of a .0 operating system all over again.

Thus, we can presume to see an iOS 4.2.1 for the iPad, perhaps even a 4.2.2, with Beatweek predicting that an iOS 4.3 is still to come.

This is especially so when we hear that the first iOS 4.2 gold master had Wi-Fi issues reported by some iPad users, necessitating in a second iOS 4.2 gold master being released to fix the issue, with the release then hopefully to happen this week, or next. Or perhaps even stretching into the next two days of the third week, the 29th and 30th of November, before we hit the 1st of December.

It's easy to assume that a revolutionarily magical iOS 5.0 has already had much work done on it in preparation for next year's iPhone 5 launch, and that perhaps the current and original iPad will have to wait as long for an iOS 5.0 update as it has had to wait for iOS 4.2 to hit the scene.

Continued on page two, please read on!


But that's all speculation, and by then there'll be iPad 2.0 hardware which should run iOS 5.0 out of the box.

It's something that would potentially mean a synchronised future iOS 5.0 update for all hardware compatible iDevices, and is something that would certainly keep existing users happy, especially as we all already know any iPad 2.0 will have faster and better features that you'll only be able to get on an iPad 2.0, whether your iPad 1.0 can run iOS 5.0 or not.

It's just as it was with each subsequent iPhone update. Apple always include what it believes are 'must have' new features and expects as many of its users to update to the latest generation as possible.

And for many, updating is essential for software compatibility. As third-party apps get upgraded to work with new iOS versions, they can drop support for older ones and issue a minimum iOS version requirement.

Not everyone updates, there are surely still some original iPhone users who have never updates, but with the iPad truly gaining so much new functionality with the iOS 4.2 update, the number of non-updaters will probably be at its lowest levels ever.

So'¦ as iPad users impatiently wait for the iOS 4.2 motherlode to drop down from the infinite loop of Mount Cupertino, checking for updates in iTunes or checking the iPad software update page at Apple's site, we fill the time speculating about what iPad OS news we'll be speculating on next.

A 3D holographic UI for iOS 6.0? Thought control for iOS 8.0? iBrain iMplant for iOS 10.0?

Anything is possible!

 

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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