During the iPad 2 launch event, the next incarnation of iOS was also announced and set for a 11 March release date, which coincides with the new tablet’s US release. Just as everyone settled down for the weeks wait before it went live, Boy Genius Report put up a post saying that iOS 4.3 was ready and that it would be released early, on the 8 March.
Tuesday came and went with no update, but that wasn’t the end of the story, as other sources confirmed the firmware would indeed be released earlier than expected, and it would show up on the 9 March. Sure enough, at 10am PT, or 6pm UK time, iOS 4.3 went live and could be downloaded for free from iTunes.
No explanation has been given for its early appearance, and the official press release still states it’ll be out on 11 March, so this is something of a surprise. We won’t complain though, and here’s what the latest version of iOS contains:
- Personal Hotspot. Share your cellular data connection with up to five devices. A tethering plan from your network will be needed and extra charges may apply.
- iTunes Home Sharing. Play music, movies and TV shows from a shared iTunes library on a Mac or PC.
- AirPlay. Updated to play videos from Photos app and Camera Roll.
- HD video out using the Apple Digital AV Adapter.
- New Ping features including Push notifications, ‘Like’ songs from the ‘Now Playing’ screen and parental controls.
- Choose the number of times an alert is repeated.
- iPad side switch becomes either a mute switch or orientation lock.
- Bug fixes.
- Single tap conference call dialogue with a pause to send a passcode.
It’s not the most exciting update we’ve seen, but Personal Hotspot and the chance to choose what the switch on the side of your iPad does are both potentially very popular additions.
The update is available to download now, but remember it isn’t compatible with the iPhone 3G. Also, make sure you’ve updated iTunes to version 10.2.1, otherwise the new firmware won’t show up. Enjoy!