iOS 4.2 Adds Easy-access Brightness Controls

Apple’s soon to be released iOS 4.2 includes a special surprise for iPad users: system-wide brightness controls in the multi-tasking bar.

The new feature will be available by double-tapping the Home button, the swiping once to the right. Along with the brightness slider, users will have access to the iPod controls as well as the software-based rotation lock, just as they do on the iPhone 4.

iOS 4.2 brightness and volume controls

Previously, iPad users had access to display brightness only via the Settings app.

iOS 4.2 was first shown off during an Apple media event on September 1st with the promise of a November release. The update will bring multitasking, app folders, and other improvements in iOS 4 to the iPad, and it will also introduce AirPrint to both iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

The gold master version of iOS 4.2 was released to developers on Monday, which is one of the  final steps before a public launch. Apple promised iOS 4.2 would ship in November as a free update for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, and with the GM version in developers hands, the official launch could be only days away.

[Thanks to our anonymous tipster for the screenshot.]