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12/3/2010
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Apple iOS 4.2 For iPad Reviewed

AirPlay, AirPrint, folders and multitasking come to the iPad with Apple's latest software update, but is it the enterprise tablet we've been waiting for? Here we put it through the paces to find out.

Slideshow: 10 Killer Mac Applications
Slideshow: iPad Does Remote Control--3 Apps Tested
(click image for larger view and for full slideshow)

Folders for the iPad work almost identically to the way they do for the iPhone. Folders can be created directly on the iPad or through iTunes. The iPad ups the number of apps per folder to a maximum of 20, compared to the iPhone's 12. Tap the folder, and a window drops down to show the apps stored inside. Drag-and-drop one app on top of another to start building a folder. If the apps share the same category in the App Store (e.g., "games"), the iPad will automatically name the folder "Games." Users can name folders anything they want.

While folders aren't the biggest improvement in the world, it does help reduce the number of active home screens. I was able to reduce the six home screens I had down to a more manageable two. Multitasking is the better of these two improvements, and is greatly appreciated.

AirPlay

AirPlay is Apple's proprietary version of DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) technology. Essentially, it allows the iPad to wirelessly stream multimedia content -- including music, HD movies and photos -- via Wi-Fi to other supported devices. When I say "other supported devices" I really mean the new Apple TV and Apple's Airport Express.

This feature works perfectly. With the new Apply TV, I was easily able to stream 720p HD movies to my HDTV with a few taps of the finger. It's simple, quick, and just works. As for quality, I couldn't see a difference between playback via AirPlay or playback of a file streamed via my wired network. Picture quality looked spot on, and the 5.1 digital audio track came through just fine.

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