iPad iOS 4.2 Beta 2 – Some More Observations

03Oct10

Apple has now made the second beta of their iOS 4.2 update available to developers. I got some hands on time with the new update earlier today. Here are a few observations…

1. A new app switching animation has been introduced. It is a marked improvement over the original implementation which mimicked the iPhone. Switching apps feels quicker and smoother. The new animation seems to better convey the concept of switching between apps. Very nice.

2. Compared to Beta 1, general performance seems slightly better. That’s not to say that Beta 1 was a slouch. But some of the minor glitches have been ironed out.

3. Still no sight of Airplay compatibility with older Apple TVs. Boo!

4. A particularly nasty bug has been introduced to the Settings app. Selecting the Sound pane causes the app to crash. I have also seen it lock the iPad up completely on one occasion.

5. There are no improvements with some of the video playback issues in Safari (BBC iPlayer for example). The authentication issues with Twitter for iPad persist too.

6. Some subtle graphical changes have been made to the keyboard. Keys now seem to have more pronounced drop shadows.

7. Both Wifi and 3G networking seem more stable. Beta 1 had a tendency to crap out at least once a day, leaving the iPad with no connectivity. So far so good with Beta 2.

8. Airplay will now push audio to Airport Express connected speakers more reliably, with less stuttering and skipping. It now seems on par with it’s predecessor, AirTunes. I have not been able to experiment with video over Airplay.

9. The ability to manually configure cellular data settings on the device is back.

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