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, TiPb.com
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.
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.
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, TiPb.com
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  months or so away…
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.