iOS 4.2 Delayed to 11/16, Possibly Longer
Reports are coming in from multiple sources saying that the iOS 4.2 release has been pushed back to next Tuesday
. The problem, which has already been spotted by a number of beta testers, is a bug preventing iPads from making stable WiFi connections. Though MacStories
, among others, suggests that the bug may take up to two weeks to fix, one Greek blogger with a good track record of success pegs the release date as November 16.
The issue reportedly only affects iPads, though I've heard of one iPhone 4 user
with the same complaint; my iPhone 3G actually works really well. Most commonly it manifests as [ame=http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1042331]a WiFi connection that's available very briefly[/ame] (one to three minutes) and then cuts out. For some users resetting Network Settings works to restore it, more commonly it requires multiple Settings resets (up to five times) to get WiFi working again. For some users, WiFi doesn't work at all and none of the workarounds are effective.
Reports developing through the week had iOS 4.2 dropping today, closely following the release of Mac OS X 10.6.5 earlier in the week. The two updates were thought to be synchronized to provide access to Mac shared printers through AirPrint, but Mac OS X support for AirPrint was pulled at the last minute. While some sources have iOS 4.2 on hold for as much as two weeks
so that Apple can "vigorously" test the bug fix, iPhoneHellas blogger Vasilis Ananiadis - who accurately predicted the releases of iPhone OS 2.2 and iOS 4.0.1 - claims it will be released on Tuesday
It's unclear why this bug emerged so late in the development cycle. It's possible that there's a conflict with some component - such as AirPrint - which uses the network stack, or that it's just a rare corner case that wasn't seen until iOS 4.2 went gold master and was more widely used. Whatever the reason, you can probably hold off on clicking the "Check for Updates" button today.