Offering more than 100 new features, with many aimed at iPad users, Apple's website now states that iOS 4.2 is available to download for free:
"The free iOS 4.2 Software Update brings all-new features to your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Just connect your device to your computer to download the update. It’s free. It’s easy. And it lets you do even more with the world’s most advanced mobile operating system."
The release follows a report earlier today from Everything iCafe, a website focused on the iPhone, that quoted Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO from a yet-to-be-released press release. "iOS 4.2 makes the iPad a completely new product, just in time for the holiday season. Once again, the iPad with iOS 4.2 will define the target that other tablets will aspire to, but very few, if any, will ever be able to hit."
iOS 4.2 features a range of new and improved features including multi-tasking and folders on the iPad, AirPlay a new feature for streaming music, video and photos wirelessly and AirPrint billed as a next-generation Wi-Fi print solution. Apple adds on the official iOS 4.2 Software Update page: "Find My iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch - the MobileMe feature that helps you locate your missing device and protect its data - is now free on any iPhone 4, iPad, or fourth-generation iPod touch running iOS 4.2."
The small print notes: "iOS 4.2 is compatible with iPad, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, second and third generation iPod touch (late 2009 models with 32GB or 64GB) and new iPod touch."
"Some features may not be available on all products. For example, Multitasking requires iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, third generation iPod touch (late 2009 models with 32GB or 64GB) or later."
A Golden Master (GM) build of 4.2.1 (8C148, up from the previous build's 8C134) was made available to developers last week.
Macworld.co.uk's Nick Spence contributed to this report.
See also: Apple iPad 2 expected next April