The Countdown Begins, Multitasking Comes to iPad in 3...2...1...

Go ahead and call the iPad nothing more than a glorified iPod touch, assuming you want to rub salt in the wound. Of course, that isn't exactly true, but most of the criticisms are, one of the big ones being the lack of multitasking support. The iPhone has it and so does the iPod touch, but the iPad doesn't, not yet anyway.

The good news? Your magical slate will soon possess the power of multitasking once iOS 4.2 rolls out of Cupertino. Hold your breath if you want, Apple has gone and released the latest build of iOS 4.2 to developers earlier this week in Gold form, which means that a full-on release is imminent. As in, probably within the next couple of weeks, if not sooner.

This long awaited update puts the iPad on more even ground with the iPhone and iPod touch. Once applied, iPad owners will be able to switch between apps by double-clicking the home button and selecting a new app from the mutlitasking bar at the bottom of the screen.

More than just multitasking, iOS 4.2 also brings categorized folders to the mix, a unified Inbox, improved parental controls, text surfing in Safari, and both AirPlay and AirPrint.