Apple gives multitasking to iPad users in new iOS update

Tech giant Apple has rolled out a new iOS update this morning, with users of the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad devices now able to access new features including AirPlay and the ability to print over wireless networks.

Apple users will also now be able to access the Mobile Me “Find My iPhone” feature for free, fuelling speculation that the entire suite will be available soon without cost.

The iOS 4.2.1 update is now available through iTunes. Users need to plug in their devices and allow the software to update their gadget before they are able to access the new features.

Most of the major changes have been targeted at the iPad. Now the gadget features multitasking and folders, which until now were only available for the iPhone 4 and iPod Touch from the iOS 4.0 update.

The iPad has also received the Game Centre app, along with some updates for the Mail and Calendar apps.

Two of the biggest additions are the AirPlay and AirPrint features. AirPlay works with the new Apple TV, by allowing users to switch the media on their iPhone or iPad to the set-top box. The addition of multitasking also means you can stream media from your iPad and still browse the internet or send emails.

The AirPrint feature also allows users to print from any official iOS app, although printer manufacturers are still making sure their devices are compatible.

One of the most useful new changes, although not part of the iOS update, is the decision to make the “Find my iPhone” feature completely free. Once a part of the MobileMe service, now all users can access the feature free of charge.

Users need to set up their device and an account through the MobileMe website, and need the latest update to do so. If you lose your phone, the service will locate it for you and give you a rough GPS estimate of where to find it.

Since the feature was launched, several users have been able to recover lost phones and in some cases, help authorities track down stolen gadgets.

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