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Friday, November 12, 2010, 12:15 pm PT (03:15 pm ET)

Apple issues developers second iOS 4.2 gold master for iPad

Apple on Friday released a second gold master of iOS 4.2, its forthcoming software update, which may address Wi-Fi connectivity issues some have reported with the iPad.

The new build, dubbed 8C134b, has replaced the previous gold master released to developers on Nov. 1. Typically a gold master issued to developers is identical to the version that eventually becomes the final release.

It is unknown what changes have been made in the second gold master, though it's possible the latest version could be to address Wi-Fi issues that some users experienced with the pre-release build. Recent reports have claimed that Apple hoped to release iOS 4.2 sooner, but was forced to push back the launch to address issues with the software.

However, Apple still remains on track for its promised launch window of November.

Numerous reports have made claims of dates of launch dates for the software, but they have changed frequently and so far have been incorrect. The Telegraph added its prediction to the mix on Friday, suggesting that Apple had delayed the release of iOS 4.2 until Nov. 24, based on information given by a "reliable source."

"A source that works closely with Apple said that the company had shelved its original plan to release the software update today, and had instead pushed back the launch until later this month," the report read.

Regardless of whether the software has actually been "delayed" from Apple's own internal launch goals, it has become increasingly apparent that there are issues with iOS 4.2. In addition to the Wi-Fi problems reported by testers of the first golden master, Apple has also cut features from AirPrint — specifically, the ability to print to a shared printer through a Mac or Windows machine.

Printer sharing was supposed to be a part of Mac OS X 10.6.5, but the software was released Wednesday without any official support for sharing a printer with iOS devices. And iTunes 10.1 was supposed to allow shared printers for Windows users, but the update arrived Friday also without mention of AirPrint.