iOS 4.3 Beta Released – Wi-Fi Hotspot and more new features

While the recent announcement of the long-awaited Verizon iPhone 4 may be a big deal for some many of our US readers, the same can’t be said for iDevice users in other parts of the world. What IS much more exciting for the rest of us is the following announcement of the upcoming new version of the iOS, one that will bring quite a few new features and is set to debut on the Verizon iPhone 4 – iOS 4.3.

The most hyped feature, of course, will be the answer to the widely advertised Android one – Wi-Fi Hotspot for up to 5 devices. At first, the fact whether this feature would be exclusive to Verizon was debated, but the recent release of the 4.3 beta to developers has confirmed that it will be indeed available on all carriers willing to support it.

Before I continue down the list, an interesting note is that the latest beta does NOT support 2G devices (iPhone 3G and iPod Touch 2G). Whether this will mean that they will be left out in the cold altogether or just for the time being remains to be seen, but considering that almost all new features from iOS 4.1 onwards are not available for the oldies, it may not have much of an impact.

More features, including the much desired ability to select the iPad lock/mute switch functionality, after the gap.

Behold, the full list of new features (introduced officially and found traces of):

  • Wi-Fi Hotspot for up to 5 devices (carrier-specific)
  • AirPlay APIs for implementing the functionality in 3d-party applications
  • Full-screen iAd APIs
  • New FaceTime icon (iPod Touches only)
  • Traces of built-in camera effects including X-Ray, kaleidoscope, heatvision, etc.
  • New multi-touch gestures for multi-tasking control (iPad only)
    • 3 finger swipe up to activate the multi-tasking tray
    • 3 finger swipe left/right to switch between active applications
    • 4-5 finger pinch to go to the Home screen
  • An option to toggle the Mute/Rotation lock switch functionality between the two (iPad only)
  • An option to select the number of times the incoming SMS-tone is repeated (1,2,3,5 or 10 times at 2-minute intervals)
  • New font for Notes “Noteworthy”
  • Virtual keyboard redesign (iPhone/iPod Touch only)
  • New AppStore interface
  • A ‘Find my Friends’ MobileMe feature

Here’s a video Engadget posted of the new multi-touch gestures on the iPad.

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