The beta of iOS 4.3 hit yesterday and contains more than we might typically expect from a point upgrade. Yeah, you’ll probably still have to wait until v5.0 for a sensible alert system and widgets. But 4.3 contains a number of promising and surprising elements.
The personal hotspot functionality touted at Verizon’s iPhone launch, will indeed become available to all iPhones. Or, is that all iPhone carriers? As it’s something they’ll have to enable and a luxury they will no doubt charge you for. Additionally, it looks like a new “Find my Friends” service is in development – perhaps something akin to Google’s Latitude?
iOS 4.3 also builds upon the disappointing launch of hobbled AirPlay functionality found in 4.2. Whereas the initial iteration was primarily audio-focused and native, third party apps can now stream video to AppleTV. If developers choose to go down that path. At the very least, personal videos shot on an iPhone can now be shipped to the television.
On the iPad front, there’s some pretty significant and practical multitouch interface additions. Swipe multiple fingers left or right to cycle between open apps (yes!) or drag multiple fingers up and down to reveal and hide the task bar. You can also pinch all of your fingers together to hide an open app and reveal the home screen. Related, there’s a rumor circulating that the next iPad and iPhone models do away with the Home button. Which doesn’t sound too practical and doesn’t line up with the supposed iPad 2 case shown above. Lastly, the iPad’s physical slider button regains the ability to (optionally) lock screen orientation. Check out Engadget’s video below to see these elements in play.