Apple’s new iOS is in Beta mode and you can bet there’s a bunch of little tics and tacs in the workings that’re noteworthy. This is a unification sort of release, bringing the iPad up to snuff, including such treasures found up until now only on the iPhone. Features such as multitasking, unified email inbox, Game Center, and folders. If you’ve got an iPod Touch like me, you’ve noticed the Game Center peeking at you above behind and around your games for a little while now.
First, new parental controls. There’s blockage of a bunch of functions and apps like YouTube, Camera, FaceTime, iTunes, installing and deleting apps, and changes to accounts and location. Obviously some of these aren’t on the iPad, like the camera control for example. Another iPhone-only change is the ability to adjust your ringtone independently from the main system volume. A potentially big-or-cute feature for developers in the future is the addition of a MIDI framework. Perhaps some Mario action? There’s a button in the SMS App that connects you directly to a FaceTime call, a YouTube like/dislike button, and links to More Video linking you from the Video app directly to iTunes.
In Safari on the iPad, you can now search for words in-page (very helpful if you’re looking at a long document.) Some of you know of the loss of the orientation lock switch in all future models of iPads – don’t fret, it’s now a software function as it probably always should have been, while that same bit of hardware becomes now a mute button for sound.
Then there’s AirPrint, which is just a pretty way of titling the ability of iOS devices and their apps to print wirelessly to an AirPrint-enabled printer. There’s the similarly-titled AirPlay which allows you to stream content from your iPad to AirPlay enabled devices – this means you can play your videos through an Apple TV or a playlist of songs through a computer with iTunes. – This function I find to be sort of fixing something that isn’t broken, but just wait and see, a few years down the line and people will believe they wont be able to live without it.
So most of this stuff is basically tying the devices together. Soon there will be a structure, a “web” if you will, of devices with Apple branding that you cannot get out of, cannot function without, and laugh with joy when its family expands. Or that might be now already. Yep. Apple.