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Apple Details iOS 4.1, Teases iPad 4.2 Update With Printing

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Before Steve Jobs got stuck into the new iPods and Apple TV, he kicked off by talking about two upcoming iOS updates. Next week iPhone and iPod touch users will get to enjoy 4.1, while iPad owners can look forward to 4.2 in November, which will bring with it all of iOS 4s much-needed features and add wireless printing to the mix.

Here are the details.

iOS 4.1

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iOS 4.1 brings with it some bug fixes (proximity sensor, Bluetooth, iPhone 3G speed) but also delivers new features. These include:

  • High Dynamic Range Photos: This new photo mode takes three photos at different exposure levels, combining the three to create the ideal image.
  • HD video upload via Wi-Fi: Fairly self-explanatory.
  • TV Rentals: You'll now be able to rent TV episodes and watch them on the move.
  • Game Center: Apple's answer to Microsoft's upcoming Xbox Live and Windows Phone 7 integration, Game Center features multiplayer integration, auto-matchmaking, and achievements. Invitations from friends for multiplayer games are pushed notifications just like text messages. Epic Games demoed its use of Game Center, a sword fighting RPG game based on Unreal Engine 3 that looked a lot like Fable. It also looked exceedingly good (graphically at least), but gameplay we'll have to wait and see.


iOS 4.2

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Also teased was iOS 4.2, which will be released in November. Most pertinent is that it will be coming to the iPad, bringing with it all the features (e.g. multitasking) that current iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS owners enjoy. Other highlights included:

  • Wireless Printing: Clearly the biggest addition. Jobs demoed wireless printing within Pages, showing how pending jobs can be viewed using the new Print Center app.
  • AirPlay: The new name for AirTunes, it's been renamed because it will now support videos and photos in addition to music. 4.2 will support it, and it will allow you to stream videos from an iOS-based device to the Apple TV. A neat trick, we must admit.
Most importantly, 4.1 and 4.2 will be free to iPhone, iPod touch and iPad owners. No upgrade charges here thank you. We reckon 4.2 will have a massive impact on the usefulness of the iPad, and the HDR photo mode is an intriguing addition that we can't wait to try out.

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