Apple is releasing iOS 4.2.1 today for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, finally unifying all iOS product lines under the same firmware version. As a part of the update, Apple will make Find My iPhone available for free to owners of newer iOS devices that can run iOS 4.2.
Ahead of the release - expected to drop at 10 am Pacific time in the US, 6pm GMT - Apple updated the iOS webpage
to highlight all of the iOS 4 functionality iPhone and iPod touch users have been able to use for months that will now be coming to the iPad. "iOS 4.2 makes the iPad a completely new product, just in time for the holiday season," Steve Jobs was quoted as saying in the official Apple press release
. "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 users can create a free Find My iPhone account on any iPhone 4, iPad, or iPod touch (4th generation), but not on older devices. This is possibly an explanation for the error messages in the beta
that talked about devices that did not "qualify for free MobileMe service." Find My iPhone was previously only available to users with MobileMe accounts.
iPad users with iOS 4.2 will now be able to rent TV episodes directly to their tablet using iTunes for viewing within 30 days of download or 48 hours after as well as find and highlight specific words and phrases on web pages in Mobile Safari. In order to woo business users, Apple's also included "enhanced enterprise support" like stronger security, improved device management capabilities and better enterprise integration. iOS 4.2 also has support for 25 new languages, including Korean, Portuguese and - finally - the Traditional Chinese characters used in Taiwan. The iPad has not been available on the island until now
because it only supported the Simplified Chinese characters used on the mainland.