It was only two weeks ago that the GM for iOS 4.2 was released to developers. The word now is that Apple will be pushing out iPhone carrier updates this Friday and that the update will be made available to all iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad users. You will have to update iTunes 10.1 prior to updating the device firmware, and this will also be released on Friday. iOS 4.2 will be a major update for iPod, iPhone, and iPad, bringing the much anticipated multi-tasking capability and Game Center to Apple's popular tablet. AirPrint technology is also included in the update, allowing iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad users to print wirelessly from their device.
The rumor comes from an inside source at AT&T that told MacStories that the update should be available this Friday at 10 AM PST. The source also reported to MacStories that:
"...AT&T staff is required to thoroughly test all Apple mobile devices that are intended to use their networks and test them in their intended environments that include using Macs with versions Apple deems necessary to properly fulfill new test products," and "...iOS 4.2...was actually due last Tuesday but a bug was found that did not display Japanese characters properly and forced Apple to fix it. The iOS 4.2 GM was supposed to be released on October 26th."
I've updated to the GM version of 4.2 about a week ago, and I've been using my iPad almost nonstop since. Multitasking makes a major difference in the functionality of a tablet and was one of the few things the iPad lacked. It's a good thing Apple is pushing this just in time for it's Android counterpart's release.