Heat seeker that I am, I upgraded the OS on my iPad to 4.2 today. I wasn’t hard over enough to try out the OS before Apple said it was ready, but I couldn’t wait to jump on the bandwagon. There were a few unsettling moments during the upgrade. The downloading and upgrading went fine, but the automatic backup that occurs after the upgrading apparently hung for about half an hour. At the end of that time iTunes announced that the backup had failed, and immediately started another one, which completed uneventfully.
You’d think that the first thing that you’d see upon starting up your newly upgraded iPad would be a list of new features and instructions on how to use them. You’d be wrong. Instead, I went on the web and found some pretty good third party instructions.
This is a very impressive upgrade. It’s most of what I hoped for when I bought the iPad in the first place. Although I am uninterested in the social media and games aspects of the upgrade, I find multitasking to be nearly essential, and the iOS 4.2’s implementation to be, considering the hardware limitations, spot on. Some were disappointed that Apple doesn’t allow third-party apps to run in the background, but I respect their decision to control the user experience, even as I am uncomfortable with the lack of a level playing field.
There are minor, but welcome, usability improvements, like the control panel to the left of the icons for running programs in the task manager (Apple doesn’t call it that).
iOS 4.2: about as close to a home run as I’ve seen in an OS upgrade. And the price is right.