Along with the announcement of the iPad 2 earlier today, Steve Jobs also introduced the next version of the iOS. Set to be released on the same day as the iPad 2 launch, iOS 4.3 will bring forth several enhancements, some of which will undoubtedly be welcomed with open arms by iDevice users. Here’s a quick rundown of what you can expect:
- iTunes Home Sharing – Easily the most sought after feature in new OS. Users will soon be able to play their entire iTunes library (music, movies, tv shows, podcasts etc) over the same Wi-Fi network. As long as it’s on your Mac or PC, you’ll be able to stream content to your iPod Touch, iPod or iPad.
- iPad Side Switch - Ability to set switch on side of iPad to either lock screen rotation or mute the volume. Good for users to have a choice as to what function the switch performs.
- Personal Hotspot for iPhone 4 - First seen with the launch of the Verizon iPhone 4, users will be able to turn their iPhone into a Wi-Fi hotspot using 3G connection. You can share it with up to 5 devices at once over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB.
- AirPlay Enhancements - In addition to streaming music, movies and photos from iDevice to Apple TV, 4.3 will allow additional content (including video) from 3rd party apps (along with Apple’s own Photos app) and websites to be streamed.
The full press release of the iOS 4.3 announcement can be found below.
“With more than 160 million iOS devices worldwide, including over 100 million iPhones, the growth of the iOS platform has been unprecedented,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “iOS 4.3 adds even more features to the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, across three blockbuster devices—iPad, iPhone and iPod touch—providing an ecosystem that offers customers an incredibly rich experience and developers unlimited opportunities.”
New iTunes Home Sharing allows iOS 4.3 users to play music, movies and TV shows on an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch® from their iTunes library on a Mac® or PC over a local Wi-Fi network. With a simple tap you can enjoy all the media in your iTunes library wherever you are in your home. You can stream a movie from your Mac in one room to your iPad in another or stream an iTunes mix to your iPod touch from the office to the kitchen. With Home Sharing on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch you’ve got your entire iTunes library in your hands wherever you are in your home.
iOS 4.3 includes enhancements to AirPlay, the breakthrough wireless technology that allows users to stream music, photos and video to Apple TV®. With iOS 4.3 you can stream additional content including video from third party apps and web sites, videos from the Photos app and previews from the iTunes app to your TV.* AirPlay also allows you to bring photos to life on the TV screen by using one of the stunning new slideshow transitions, or shoot a video on your iPad 2, iPhone or iPod touch and stream it directly from the Photos app to Apple TV.
The new Personal Hotspot feature in iOS 4.3 lets you bring Wi-Fi with you anywhere you go, by allowing you to share an iPhone 4 cellular data connection with up to five devices in a combination of up to three Wi-Fi, three Bluetooth and one USB device.** Joining a Personal Hotspot is easy and once the feature is enabled a status bar displays how many devices are currently connected. Every connection is password protected and when not in use Personal Hotspot turns itself off to save battery life.
More than 10 billion apps have been downloaded from the revolutionary App Store℠ and more than 350,000 apps are available, including more than 65,000 native iPad apps, to consumers in 90 countries. Users of the more than 160 million iOS devices around the world can choose from an incredible range of apps in 20 categories, including games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel.
iOS 4.3 will be available to iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users as a free software update on Friday, March 11. iOS 4.3 is compatible with iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 (GSM model), plus third and fourth generation iPod touch. For more information please visit www.apple.com.
*AirPlay video requires second generation Apple TV running the latest software.
**Personal Hotspot requires supporting data plan. Customers should check with their carrier for availability.