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New iOS 4.2.1 for the iPad: Multitasking

Apple recently came out with the new Operating System for their tablet computer, the iPad. Even though the Apple iPad has only been out since April, it has already become one of the most revolutionary gadgets on the market today, and this most recent upgrade was the most anticipated upgrade since its initial release.

The screen shot above shows a typical iPad home screen, with the main apps which come installed on the device after the upgrade to the latest operating system, which is iOS 4.2.1. These apps include the following:

  • Safari, the web browser
  • Email, the email program
  • Photos, for viewing photos and images
  • iPod, for browsing and playing the music library
  • Calendar, for viewing and adding appointments
  • Contacts, for keeping contact lists
  • Videos, for watching TV shows and movies
  • Notes, for editing notes
  • Maps, for displaying map information
  • Youtube, for viewing videos from
  • iTunes, for downloading and browsing movies and music
  • App Store, for browsing and downloading apps
  • Settings, for viewing and changing iPad device settings
  • Game Center, for setting global user gaming information

The Safari, Email, Photos and iPod apps appear on all home screens on the iPad while all other apps will scroll to the side when you flick you finger across the screen. Basically, the iPad screen looks the same once the upgrade has completed, until you click the Home button twice in a row quickly. This raises up the wallpaper and reveals the multi-tasking toolbar at the bottom of the home screen, as illustrated below. This is the biggest feature found in this upgrade of the operating system.

The bottom screenshot shows the apps which had been started since the iPad had been powered on. All these apps remain in memory and can be re-displayed on the screen by simply tapping them once from the multi-tasking bar on the very bottom of the ipad Home screen. The major drawback of this feature is that the more apps are running, more memory is used, which causes things to slow down considerably.

One way to remedy the situation, is to tap and hold any one of the apps displayed on the bottom until they begin to shake or wiggle. While they’re wiggling, minus signs are displayed on the top left corners on every icon representing every app. Tapping these minus-icons will in fact close the apps which are no longer needed, freeing up memory and improving the performance of the iPad device. This is highly recommended and certainly something to keep in mind, definitely after having used the ipad for several hours. Closing apps will free up memory and improve the performance of the device. Another thing people have noted is that the iPad had used the battery more quickly since the upgrade, and that me be due to the new multitasking feature. Although it is nice to have this feature, keep in mind that running so many apps at the same time will come at a price, which is calculated in processor speed and battery life. Be careful and take time to close those apps, which are no longer needed!

More about iOS 4.2 from Apple


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