Tuesday, November 30, 2010

iOS 4.2: So Close to Being Done Right

I am personally against apple, and am definitely a Microsoft fan-boy, but there are some things that apple just does right. And one of those is their portable devices. iPads, iPods, and iPhones dominate the market, and deservingly. My iPad is the best thing I've ever owned, and recently it got a little bit better.

A few weeks ago iOS 4.2 was released across all devices, allowing for multitasking, folders, as well as a bunch of other new installments (most of which were released in the earlier update for all devices, minus the iPad). And although I previously jail broke my iPad to get pretty much all of these features, I decided to update it, breaking my old jailbreak. And it was a great choice, minus the lack of free open source apps.

Pros

Multitasking: The first huge advantage of updating to iOS 4.2 was the ability to multitask. It is used the same way it previously was during my jailbreak, but now it has a much prettier UI to go with it. A simple double-click opens up a tab at the bottom, with a series of apps that I can switch between easily, and more successfully than previously (Pandora would crash every couple of minutes, or in between app-switches before). This new feature has become natural for me quickly, and was one of the reasons I previously jail broke my iPad.

Battery: With all of my old applications, my processor was constantly clocking at almost full power; which caused quite a strain on the battery. Now I'm not sure how Apple got around this problem, but with the addition of multitasking, they somehow were able to reduce this ridiculous battery drain. Multitasking does drain it quicker, but it's not very noticeable considering I use my iPad all day, and charge it twice a week with almost no battery issues.

Folders: Not much to comment on here. They should have existed from the start. They're super late, but are well done and extremely handy.

Printing: Using an iPad for business can be smart depending on your job, but as a student it completely replaces the need for a laptop. Printing is a necessary function, which really is defining the iPad as a business tool. Being able to print papers wirelessly is a huge advantage now, and I'm glad it's native now...no more stupid 10 dollar apps that have a 5% chance to work with your printer.

Cons

The Mute Switch: There’s few things apple did wrong, but one of them is HUGE. They changed that button on the side, from a screen lock...to a mute switch. I'm sadly disappointed with apples decision to do this; why fix something that's not broken?

Multitasking: I noticed this right away, but every app you open automatically stays opened in the background...causing someone like me who plays like 1000 games for 2 minutes at a time to kill their battery fast. Many non computer savvy people wouldn't ever even notice this, reducing their performance significantly over time. If using iOS 4.2 you have to remember to force shut down your unused background apps when you can, unless you want Nazi zombies to be taking up memory while your on Facebook....

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