Apple's iOS 4.2 integrates WebSockets support

As developers dig in to Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS 4.2 update for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, new features are beginning to emerge, highlighted by support for WebSockets, an HTML5-based API allowing developers to build more responsive web applications leveraging JavaScript to create an open, bi-directional full-duplex connection to a server via TCP sockets. Also new: Improved Accelerometer support, Gyroscope access via the Device Orientation API, enhanced SVG support and EventSource API support. With the addition of wireless printing solution AirPrint, developers also can invoke the printing dialog on mobile Safari.

Apple unveiled iOS 4.2 last week, heralding the first iteration of the platform to simultaneously power all three Apple mobile devices. iOS 4.2 promises more than 100 new features for iPad, including application multitasking, drag-and-drop Folders organization, a Unified Inbox and threaded message view. Also new for iPad: Game Center (allowing users to challenge and play existing friends or match up automatically with new opponents, as well as showcase scores and achievements); AirPlay (enabling wireless streaming for music, video and photos); iTunes TV rentals (giving users a 30-day viewing window and a 48-hour session window once playback begins); and support for Ping, Apple's fledgling social network for iTunes music.

Apple also will make its Find My iPhone (or iPad or iPod touch) feature free to use without a MobileMe subscription. Consumers running iOS 4.2 can download the free Find My iPhone application from the App Store, enabling them to locate a missing device on a map, program it to display a message or generate a sound, and remotely lock or wipe data as necessary.

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