Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thoughts on IOS 4.2 (and a solution for printing!)

IOS 4.2 officially became available from iTunes last night so I duly set about downloading the update. To be honest, it might have been quicker for me to code up my own OS, talk about slow, I suppose a good percentage of IOS users are in the USA and 7.00pm UK time is probably not a great time to access an update on a server in the USA! Ah well, we live and learn.

Still, up with the larks this morning (Mrs RNG gets up really early) and behold, 10 minutes or so later, we have IOS 4.2 installed and ready to go.

My initial thoughts where, well at least nothing is broken (there where reports on Macrumors and ZDnet last night about empty iPod folders) and it runs as quick as before (unlike IOS 4.0 that reduced my iPhone 3g to a crawl and nearly prompted me to get an Android phone) but it all looks familiar. Mail now has a unified inbox, just like the iPhone, which is excellent news, it has folders which is nice but the lack of these was never a deal breaker for me and it has multi tasking. Now, I was never that bothered about this not being a feature as (a) my iPhone hasn't got it (b) IOS apps quit and start pretty quickly anyway (c) most ICT experts make such a big play about lack of multi tasking and how superior platform have it that I decided to be awkward and say it didn't matter! Now, lack of multi tasking was never a big issue but now I have it, well, Apple have got a nice solution (I am reliably informed that is is in fact fast app switching), it is easy, work fast and speeds up workflow no end so to all the Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile/Windows Phone 7 users who I previously argued the toss with, I truly apologise!
Safari now can search for text in a Webpage, which might be useful and it seems to render pages a little quicker and doesn't have to reload if you use the app switcher. I haven't got an Apple TV or an Airport express so can't comment on AirPlay.

So there we have it, IOS 4.2 is a useful upgrade, it is well executed and makes life nicer. It isn't earth shattering and it doesn't introduce any radical new features but it does improve the user experience. Most of my apps that I have tested work well and all support app switching/multitasking.

Oh, did I forget something? Oh yes, AirPrint. This allows you to print, over WiFi, to AirPrint enabled printers. Brilliant, I never really missed printing myself but in a school! Unfortunately, only certain printers work and of course, I don't have one. Enter Printopia, a $7.99 application from ecamm.com for the Mac that allows AirPrint enabled apps to see any shared printer on your network. It also allows printing to Dropbox as well so if my previous now to on WebDAV didn't work.....

Printing from pages using Printopia:

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a similar solution for Windows. The nearest I can get is e-print I will continue to search but let me know if you find anything yourselves.

So there we are, a review of IOS 4.2 and print solution for Macs.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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