CNET is reporting that the developer’s release of iOS 4.2 shows a couple of very interesting changes that will be coming to the iPad that haven’t as of yet been announced: the screen lock switch will turn into a mute switch, and folders will be able to store up to 20 icons instead of the 12-icon/app limit of the iPhone and iPod Touch, among other surprises.
To lock the screen in iOS 4.2 on the iPad, users will have to bring up the multi-tasking toolbar and then slide it to the left, which will reveal the orientation lock as well as a brightness level that will allow users to stay within any app and adjust the brightness of the iPad. Right now, iBooks is probably the clearest example of how useful it is to have the option to adjust brightness without leaving the app, and this should be a popular feature with many.
As far as the orientation lock goes, we’re glad that this is being transfered to the software – many iPad cases cover up the switch and even when it isn’t covered up, it really isn’t the easiest of things to use (especially depending on how you are holding the iPad at the time). Putting this in the software really does make a lot of sense.
CNET found a few other surprises, including the ability to change fonts in Notes and the larger 3G signal bars that the iPhone now has, but both of those are pretty minor. Hopefully, these aren’t the last good improvements that Apple will surprise us with by the time of the public release of iOS 4.2.