Apple has upgraded iTunes in preparation for the release of a new version of iOS for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.
iTunes 10.1, released Friday, syncs the digital media player application with iOS 4.2, which Apple hasn't released, reportedly due to technical problems related to the iPad. In addition, the new version of iTunes includes AirPlay support to wirelessly stream video from iTunes to Apple TV, which the company sells as a bridge between the Internet and the digital TV in the home.
Other advantages of iTunes 10.1 include a number of "important stability and performance improvements," Apple says.
Nevertheless, those who install the iTunes upgrade will not reap all its benefits until Apple gets iOS 4.2 out. According to numerous postings on the discussion forums of Apple and the blog MacRumors.com, developers have found serious problems with Wi-Fi performance on iPads with a pre-release version of iOS 4.2 installed.
According to the postings, Wi-Fi connections on iPads with the so-called Golden Master of iOS 4.2 installed drop off after only a few minutes. The problem has been reported to Apple, but the company has yet to publicly address it.
Apple released the Golden Master of iOS 4.2 Nov. 1, which led industry observers to predict a mid-November release. However, Apple has stuck by its usual approach to iPhone and iPad software updates and has not offered a specific date for the update.
With the release of iTunes 10.1, Apple could be within days of releasing the iOS update. That's because the later upgrade was expected to follow the iTunes update. Among the many features included in iOS 4.2 is the ability to print from the iPad over a Wi-Fi connection.