Saturday, November 20, 2010
First Impressions of iOS 4.2.1 for iPad
The iPad is the last of Apple's mobile devices to get the iOS 4 software upgrade. It will be the first time that iPad owners will be able to use multitasking, Game Center, folders, and the enhanced Mail application with support for multiple Microsoft Exchange Active Sync accounts. (I can probably go on for a full blog post, or two, about Mail, but I'll save that for another time.)
My quick list of things that I like and dislike about the iOS 4.2.1 software upgrade for the iPad are up after the break.
iOS 4.2.1 iLikes
2. iPad Controls
3. Enhanced Mail Application
4. Getting Organized with Folders
iOS 4.2.1 iDislike - Hardware Rotation Lock Turns Into Mute Switch
For the most part, I really like the features of iOS 4.2.1. There are a lot of things, big and small, to like in this software upgrade. For some reason, this one really bugs me. First of all, I like the convenience of having an easy to access screen orientation lock, and having a hardware button was fantastic.
With iOS 4.2.1 on my iPad, to lock the iPad's screen in it's current orientation, I have to double press the Home button, swipe to the right in the Multitasking bar, and then tap the Orientation Lock button. Ok, count with me...1...2...3...4...5. It now takes five button presses/taps/gestures to do the same thing I was able to do with the hardware orientation lock.
And to add insult to injury, when I was playing with iOS 4.2.1 for this article, I learned that the damn Mute switch controls don't even mute the iPod application. What the hell!? The one application I was expecting the Mute switch to work with and it doesn't.
If there is a silver lining to this mute mess is that I discovered that if you double-click the Home button while the iPad is locked and the iPod application is playing music, the clock portion of the screen is replaced with the iPod controls so it becomes sort of easy, if not a little bit annoying to, to pause whatever it is you are listening to. But it's still three clicks to bring up the controls and a single tap to pause the iPod.
I understand why Apple wanted to switch the iPad's hardware orientation lock to a mute switch: so developers only have one standard to write applications to. Personally, I would have liked to see Apple put in a preference option in the Settings application to restore the original functionality of the iPad's Orientation/Mute switch.
All in all, iPad owners are going to really like the enhancements in iOS 4.2.1 for iPad.