iOS 4.2 beta flaw disconnects iPads

Apple's iOS 4.2 is now available in beta form, but early adopters installing it on their iPads are finding an unwelcome surprise waiting for them - disconnection from the Internet.

The issue, which was first spotted by THINQ's own Andy Evans, appears to be related to the Access Point Name, or APN - the settings for which have been hidden as a result of user interface changes in the latest release of the iPhone Operating System.

Some, although not all, users upgrading to the beta are finding that their APN settings are getting wiped from their device - which prevents 3G iPads from connecting to the Internet on anything other than Wi-Fi, making the extra cost for the top-end versions of Apple's popular slate a bit redundant.

While issues are to be expected when dealing with beta software - after all, that's why companies have betas - for such a major bug to have survived alpha testing on what is, after all, a very closed platform is surprising, and has left disconnected users questioning Apple's famous commitment to quality control.

Some users have reported that they were able to reset the APN details using third-party web-based utilities such as UnlockIt.co.nz, which - when opened using the browser on an iOS-based device - allow the selection of APN details and should re-establish the missing settings, but others report that even after visiting such sites the device still refuses to connect to the Internet.

With no firm solution in sight, and Apple remaining silent on the issue, it looks like users could be left with the choice of downgrading to iOS 4.1 or being stuck with Wi-Fi connectivity only until the final release of iOS 4.2.

If you've found a solution for the mystery of the disappearing APN in iOS 4.2, share it in the comments - Andy'll love you forever if you do.