Is iPad 4.2 a whole new iPad? [Round table]

iOS 4.2 is a whole new iPad?

Last week Apple finally brought iOS 4 -- technically iOS 4.2.1 -- to the iPad along with multitasking, folders, unified inbox, threaded email, AirPlay, AirPrint, and a slew of other long-demanded features. Apple considered the 4.2.1 update enough to make you feel like you got a whole new iPad.

Well, following up on our original iPad review, we asked a bunch of Smartphone Experts and TiPb editors and writers what they thought of iOS 4.2.1.


If there is anything that we can learn from the death of Steve Jobs it's that we need to make sure we live for the moment and do as much as we can with the time we are given. Though Steve is no longer with us, his legacy will carry on. I did not expect to be as affected by his passing as I have been. There is something that made me feel secure with having Steve at Apple, and his spirit can not be replaced.

We're here to put a dent in the universe.

You did, Steve. You did.

Ally Kazmucha,

I've immersed myself in technology ever since I can remember. I was always fascinated by the way things work and how things could be better. Steve Jobs understood that things can "always" be better. He was a visionary and his own worst critic. I always admired that in him. Back in my college days I remember seeing the Stanford Commencement speech on the internet. One quote stuck with me from then until now -

"Everyday when I wake up, I look into the mirror and ask myself, "If I was going to die tomorrow, would I still want to do what I'm going to do today?", and if the answer is no too many days in a row, I know I need to change something."

It's a quote I've tried to live up to. Since then, I've almost completely turned a hobby and a passion into a career, I'd say that quote has impacted my life in ways I'm not even capable of explaining. So I'll continue doing what I love to do as that's the best way I know to honor one of most creative minds of this century. He may be gone but so many of the ideas and innovations he brought to life will continue to inspire generations to come. You will be sorely missed by all.

Chris Parsons,

Between last night and today, I have heard so many people state what Steve Jobs meant to them and their lives and it has truly been amazing. I've always recognized that we all live and we all die but I never realized the passing of Steve Jobs would have this much affect on myself. I work on a MacBook Pro all day long, I write about iPhones and iPads often and much of my livelihood as I know it -- is because of the products him and the folks at Apple have created. Steve Jobs was simply put.. amazing. I encourage you all to donate to your local Cancer society.

Kevin Michaluk, Founder of

As much as we like to poke at Apple whenever we get the chance on CrackBerry, Steve Jobs was an amazing visionary and inspiring leader who made a significant impact upon the world in which we live. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and loved ones.

Rene Ritchie,

iOS 4.2.1 is the grand unification update, the software that brings iPhone, iPod touch, and for the first time, iPad all onto the same version number and at the same time. Yes, it’s the one firmware to rule them all.

While it wasn't critical for Apple to get all devices on the same iOS build, it was increasingly critical to get iPad onto the 4.x branch with multitasking. And the other features. After iPhone 4 with iOS 4 came out iPad went from being magical to being strangely obsolete. It just couldn't do what we expected it to do, what we'd learned from our iPhone or iPod touch to expect it to do.

My usage of iPad post-iPhone 4 actually went down considerably for that reason. When the first iOS 4.2 beta came out, however, it shot right back up. I'll never know what would have happened if iOS 4 had come to iPad in June, whether iPhone 4 hardware alone would have wooed me away for a while but I doubt it. You just get used to double clicking the Home Button and looking at a unified inbox and it's hard to go back.

Now I don't have to. Now iOS doesn't have to. Now we're all moving forward again, in the same direction, hopefully in lock step for a long time to come.

Like I said in the walkthrough:

iOS 4.2 on iPad is a revelation. It’s the way iPad is meant to be. That’s not to say it’s perfect or has every feature on every geek’s wish list — it certainly doesn’t — but it has enough new functionality to make iPad much more valuable.

Like with iOS 4 on iPhone, multitasking and folders extend the existing UI in a way that gives power users what they need, but keeps casual users either grounded in familiar metaphor, and feature-phone types blissfully unaware it’s even there.

AirPrint addresses an important bit of functionality for home and business alike, and AirPlay has the potential to turn the TV video scene upside down.

Sure, non-obtrusive notifications, and glanceable, lock-screen widgets — and hey, AirEasyFileTransfer — would be grand, but iOS 5 beta is only [3] months or so away…

Adam Zeis,

I'm not as "seasoned" as other users, but from my perspective I'd say same old same old. While folders definitely add to the organization of things, there not much there in my opinion that keeping apps on separate pages can't accomplish. I suppose you could say I'm a "low level" iPad user, so I VERY rarely use multitasking and Airplay/print not at all. Multitasking is great for killing apps, but honestly doesn't offer that much more for me in terms of how I use the device. I'm a simple guy so really just having things work is fine by me. I do like the folders and think they definitely help keep things more organized and where I need them, but I can totally live without them.

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Reader comments

Is iPad 4.2 a whole new iPad? [Round table]


It kinda sorta is like having a new ipad. But I still want some more "stuff" on it. And no I will not jailbreak. Team pure 4 life yo!!

Great overall input - and I would have to say that I diasgree that the update makes it a whole new iPad. As Georgia pointed out, these features should already have been installed when it launched. Frankly, I think Apple has done what it's been doing since iPhone 2007 - launching devices without mission critical functionality to test the market. Does it really make sense that it took Apple 3 years to put folders on the iPhone? Seriously? Every year (technically few months), Apple peppers little tweaks into their software updates that improve the user experience. However, these are not improvements. We are simply getting getting what is already owed.

Don't see a huge difference, and as the the comment about people using as their main computer - how are they gonna get stuff on it? Don't get me wrong I lurv my iPad, but id don't feel new.... Just better.... Just.....

Bjorn: I don't feel Apple owes us anything with its products. Of course every year or few months Apple is going to update its software, but owing us software is pushing it.
I havent updated my iP4 yet to 4.2.1 cause of JB but I updated my iPad to 4.2.1 and love it.

Still holding out for an iPad 2. It seems like the buyers of the iPad were left behind too long on this update. Apple could have done better. Multi tasking, and folders could have been added the same time as the iPhone update. You finally getthe nice features, and it is about four months until the new iPad is out. It makes me wonder when iPhone 5 is out in June, will iPad 2 buyers have to wait until the end of 2011 to see updates to match the new iPhone? With the new cross device firmware, it should be the same release date for all devices. Great discussion on this topic. It would be nice to see the round table format on your tv discussions.

Was almost everything I expected. Folders are a Jobs-send and Safari appears faster. However, you don't appear to be able to search within a web-page still, which is insane.

FYI, I ordered a 2nd iPad for the household because of the improvements in 4.2, no doubt I'll get an iPad 2 as well. << sucker

It's sort of like having a new iPad, except that my old one worked fine and the new one is incredibly slow. Am I the only one whose iPad runs at a snail's pace post-upgrade? Safari takes at least 5 minutes to load a page. Apps take about 25 to 30 minutes to download. And yet, for some reason the app shows I'm getting normal transfer speeds. I have no idea what's going on, but I want my old iOS back.

How is multitasking fast for app switching when every app on the phone eventually finds its way into the multitasking dock? I just end up with new 4-app home screens to swipe through, instead of 16-app home screens. :roll:
Until I can set which apps I want multitasked, and which apps I don't, it's pointless.

Is it a whole new ipad is the question. And no is the answer. Not unless you jb :P But we can't have that right?

I take back what I said about the multitasking being pointless. I should've said "it's not faster for app switching".

@west. Sorry I didn't list my "stuff" that I want. As soon as apple lists new additions to the iPad or iPad 2. You will see the stuff.

At Batman - I say "owe" because I feel that Apple leaves these features out purposely. As stated before, it's an opportunity to test the market to see what feature-packed or feature-less products people are willing to pay for. Once that is establIshed, they can add those features little by little over time and make tweaks to the design. And bam, new phone every year! Think about it guys. All of these manufacturers and software companies collaborate to make these $700 high end devices and they can't include simple functions like threaded messaging, folders...etc? Look at Windows Phone 7. Is there a good reason as to why Microsoft who has been watching the smartphone industry skyrocket with powerful devices, launched their new platform sans "copy & paste"? Please. There is a reason that these devices are missing features. And they are not missing them by chance; it's done on purpose!

Kevin over at is waiting for those clowns at RIM to produce the Playbook? When was the last time they put out anything innovative or ahead of its time? Was it the much anticipated "game changer or iPhone killer" Blackberry Torch? Well, we have seen how much of an impact it has had on the market. Isn't it going at a Buy 1 Get 1 price already?
Kevin, wait as you will my friend. RIM has officially been "lapped". They fell asleep at the wheel with no end in sight in losing market share, and I'm afraid the Playbook doesn't have a prayer, if history is any indicator.
One Love!

4.2 drains my battery 8-12% during the night in standby. this is definetely due to multitask. i tried to kill background apps and battery discharge remains the same amount. the only thing that worked for me is reset, after resetting i still see the apps in background but no battery power lost. for the record 3.2 standby did not drain the battery during the night at all. i also noticed safari loading web pages slower in 4.2.
anybody has the same experience?

Its sure is a " whole " new iPad after updating to 4.2.1, when it first came out it was just a half baked product.

Owe:To have a moral obligation to render or offer
To be indebted to
Again apple doesn't owe us anything. Can atop throwing that word around like they are obligated to give us something. How about using " missing what I consider standard" face it not a lot of people consider some features as "owed" oops meant standard

I have been using my ipad more and more since the update. The multitasking is agodsend and fast app switching makes all the difference. Whole new ipad... Probably not until can print to any shared printer. But close

I love my iPhone 4, but I'm holding off on the iPad until it has a USB or can somehow be connected to a printer and SuperDrive.

@Bob Marley: Your words are the product of what is seemingly your own self induced hype. Ask any respectable member of the BlackBerry community if they thought the Torch was a "game changer" or an "iPhone killer" and they'll gladly tell you that that was never the intention of the Torch to begin with. RIM isn't nor have they ever been out to make an iPhone killer and anyone that still uses that term to describe any other mobile device is just baiting your attention. The iPhone is on it's own when it comes to mobile devices. In the end, it doesn't matter. Users are going to pick what is best for them and their use case unless of course they play the role of mindless sheep and just buy whatever the intertubes tells em they should. Plenty of those folks around that's for sure.
Also, to address your comments about the PlayBook. RIM knows they've fallen from the graces of consumers in the past little but you seem to have overlooked one rather large detail. RIM has never really been driven by consumer marketshare in the first place. Did they go after some of it...sure they did but, it's not the Bob Marleys of the world putting the bread and butter on the tables @ RIM. It's the top dogs and CEOs buying BES servers that lines RIMs pockets. Who was the iPad marketed towards? Consumers. Who is the PlayBook marketed towards? Enterprise. You really shouldn't be so quick to count RIM out based on their past history. They have a new OS, they're buying up companies left and right and investing a lot of time and money into their future. Will the PlayBook be as popular as the iPad? Not likely but, it'll be enough to push RIM into their next level of operation which is bringing the QNX operating system to their handheld devices and that, is where the future of RIM is. Until then, don't wake the sleeping giant. And oh ya, you might wanna review RIMM since the PlayBook was announced, they're making $ just by having acknowledged that it even exists.
PS: This was typed on an iPhone 4 so, spare me the BlackBerry fanboi comments. K thanks, love j00 guys!

I have my ipad for a month, and the more I use it the more I think i wasted my money. Its only good for entertainment value. They were pushing the fact it was a great for a business user its to frustrating an OS to be that. I tried the handwriting notes apps, pages, and a few others I would want to use. Most are anoying to work with. I regret spending so much money on this thing.

@Bla1ze. Wow, what dissertation. Mom and dad must be impressed. I'm not, however. And you need to go back and read your post, cause I started taking a nap into line 5.
When you start talking about the "top dogs and CEO's" of the world as being the target audience for Blackberry, the problem is that target is shrinking by the day and they are losing market share with the same community they deemed was theirs. I'm not a fanboy to the point that I am blind to see that Android is a fantastic product, and is doing the same thing to RIM. Arrogance prevents innovation. You and your clan can be happy with your devices, as it is your right. But do not be blind from what is going on......consumers ( including "top dogs and CEO's as you put it") have freedom of choice. The numbers speak for themselves.

@David: it worked quite the contrary to me. Before the update I couldn't even run some apps. As for Safari and download the same and I do have to say I sometimes update apps of 500MB or more from the iPad itself and it does it in minutes (before and after the iOS 4). It's a little weird these differences in performance of the devices...
@netuddki: indeed I have notice some more battery consumption, even though I usually kill all apps. I cannot fully recharge it overnight anymore connected to my computer.

Aarchit says:
December 2, 2010 at 7:01 pm
Owe:To have a moral obligation to render or offer To be indebted to Again apple doesn’t owe us anything. Can atop throwing that word around like they are obligated to give us something. How about using ” missing what I consider standard” face it not a lot of people consider some features as “owed” oops meant standard
Aarchit, just relax man. This is a forum and I can use which ever words I want to use - just like you. God, I hate it when people make a post their mission to discredit someone else's opinion. Just relax with that.

Well said it is a forum and all opinions are welcome. don't worry my mission is not to discredit you, but to have a fun debate. We all are allowed to have differing opinions right? how we decide to disagree is all subjective. As you said, quote " I can use which ever words i want to use". shouldn't that apply to all that disagree with you. or does that only apply to you? sorry if i aggressively challenged your opinion, next time i will just agree with you and nod my head.

I really enjoy my iPad, but really don't see much of a difference. And the attempt at multitasking kind of misses the's more a "recently used apps" menu than multitasking. I mean, do apps ever really "close" now? It seems that every app I use is on that tray so it feels more like just a list of shortened to the most used apps. I could do that by putting them all on the same page and most people probably already did that. I could go for less intrusive notifications too like WebOS.

I also don't like the change of the function of the switch above the volume control to a mute button. I like it as a screen orientation lock better