Apple has just unleashed early builds of iOS 4.3 to devs. And while it might be an incremental release in name, there are stacks of tweaked and updated features, not to mention a few gossipy tidbits hidden away in the code. Dive in and read our Top 10 iOS 4.3 facts now.
1 AirPlay video for apps and websites
AirPlay on iOS has until now been restricted to Apple’s own applications. But iOS 4.3 changes all that, with the ability to stream video from third party add-ons and websites to an Apple TV.
2 iPad orientation lock switch returns
The much-loved orientation lock button on the iPad was turned into a mute key with the release of iOS 4.2, much to most users chagrin. But now it’s returning to its original role, despite Steve Jobs saying it would never happen. You can choose in settings whether the key works as a mute or lock button.
3 New FaceTime logo
The FaceTime icon has been updated on the iPod touch. Sure, it’s a small detail, but selling the video chat software to the masses is one of Cupertino’s key targets in 2011.
4 Personal hotspot
At last, iOS will be able to properly battle Android in the tethering stakes. There’s now an option in settings to turn on a personal hotspot, although you’ll need to pay extra for the privilege with most networks.
5 AirPlay heading to Photos app
AirPlay’s roll out continues apace, with the ability to now zip photos and video from the Photo app onto your bargain bucket Apple TV. The wireless sharing software is at last starting to come into its own.
6 Multitouch multitasking gestures for iPad
Multitouch gestures are already a cornerstone of the Mac experience, so it’s no surprises to see them come to the iPad. Four finger swipes bring up the homescreen, while you can swipe up to see the multitasking bar. This has led to rumours that the home key will be scrapped on new versions of the iPhone and iPad.
7 iAd fullscreen banners for iPad
Not exactly one to cause much rejoicing, but if you do happen to love giving companies click-throughs, this new addition to iOS on the iPad just made things a whole lot easier.
8 Find My Friends service incoming
This new service has been found by Apple fanatics rooting around in iOS 4.3’s code. It’s apparently related to MobileMe and suggests Apple is looking to rival the likes of Google Latitude and Foursquare with location-based services.
9 Hints of new iPhones and iPads
Model numbers of unreleased iPhones have also been found by Engadget, with iPad 2,1, iPad 2,2, iPad 2,3, iPhone 4,1 and iPhone 4,2 all mentioned. That’s no surprise, but it seems these newbies aren’t that far away from becoming reality.
10 iPhone 3G not invited
Apple has said that iOS 4.3 will be for iPad, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and the newest iPod touches. That means the iPhone 3G is finally being shut out, two and a half years after its debut. That’s no surprise after the headache iOS 4 has caused Apple on the old-school device, but will disappoint early iPhone lovers.