Apple appears to be poised to release iOS 4.2 on Friday. The update will make significant improvements to stability, and fix two show-stopping issues with Apple’s mobile device operating system.
The update will correct Apple’s Daylight Savings Time issues, as well as fix a bug that allows the passcode lock to be bypassed on iPhone models. Currently iPhone devices running iOS 4.1 can be hacked by dialing ### which triggers the full Phone application to load, allowing for access to stored contacts and for placing phone calls.
Jailbreakers (and especially people that have not yet jailbroken their devices) are encouraged to run Cydia and take advantage of its ECID SHSH backup functionality. This will allow you to downgrade to iOS 4.1 after Apple stops activating devices running the update.
While current exploits appear to hold through iOS 4.2 GM (seeded to Apple developers), it is always possible that Apple made last minute, post-GM modifications to the software to patch such exploits.
This will mark the first iOS 4 release for iPad, and Apple may use it as an opportunity to patch lingering exploits that allow for unrestricted software to run on the world’s most popular tablet computer.