iOS 4.3 Available March 11, Brings New Features

At the Apple event today, we heard details about the latest installment of iOS, version 4.3. The developer beta has been available for a while now, but the public release has now been announced, and Apple revealed a couple of tricks that even the beta hadn’t yet introduced.

Personal Hotspot

A new feature, for the iPhone 4 only, is Personal Hotspot, which was first introduced alongside the Verizon iPhone. This lets you turn your 3G connection into a Wi-Fi hotspot other devices can connect to. It’s a great feature that’s been available on Android (s goog) devices for a while now, so it’s terrific that it’s come to the iPhone. Up to five devices can connect, but whether you’ll be charged extra to use it will depend on your carrier.

Home Sharing

Home Sharing, the feature of iTunes which allows you to stream iTunes content over your home Wi-Fi network, is coming to iOS. You’ll now be able to listen to music and watch movies that are on your computer over Wi-Fi, rather than having to sync content to your device first.

iPad Switch

When the iPad switch was changed from a rotation lock switch to a mute switch, a lot of people started to complain. Luckily, iOS 4.3 adds a preference that allows the user to change the function of the switch. You’ll be able to choose between functions for the switch, so everyone can have what they want.


AirPlay on iOS 4.3 will allow third-party apps to stream video as well as audio, which is good news for apps concerned with video content. It also allows websites to stream content. Photos are able to be streamed over AirPlay, and will support Apple TV’s built-in slideshow transitions.

Increased Safari Performance

iOS 4.3 also improves performance in Mobile Safari, particularly with JavaScript. The mobile operating system now uses the Nitro engine, which should make JavaScript perform a lot better and faster. This is the same engine used in Mac OS X.

iOS 4.3 will be available to the general public at the same time as the new iPad 2, on Mar. 11.

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