Looks like iOS 4.3 is going to bring us a lot of feature updates and Sarah Perez at ReadWriteWeb has rounded them up for us to read about. Among them, the toggle on the side of the iPad, which once had been an orientation lock (to prevent the iPad from flipping orientation when handled) turned mute-button, has become configurable instead—bringing the lock back again.
Here’s the quick list of features written up by Sarah Perez about iOS 4.3:
- Wi-Fi Hotspot: As we already knew, the personal hotspot capabilities are present for GSM devices, although it’s up to individual carriers to implement this setting. It’s doubtful that AT&T will be one of them. Verizon, however, is.
- AirPlay support for third-party native and Web applications: Previously in iOS 4.2, AirPlay, the feature that lets you stream video from your mobile device to an Apple TV or other third-party AirPlay-enabled hardware, was only available to the built-in Apple apps. With 4.3, any third party app can offer this functionality, too.
- A redesigned FaceTime icon: A minor change, but it looks good.
- Support for fullscreen iAd banners on iPad: A new iAd format which Apple says is “easy to implement,” allows its users to collect 60% of the revenue generated.
- Multitouch gesture support for the iPad: More on this below
- Configurable switch for the iPad, the toggle can be used as a mute button or orientation lock
- HTTP Live Streaming Statistics: This allows developers to track their video streams’ popularity and measure their performance.
The last update, iOS 4.2, brought us multitasking, AirPrint, and AirPlay and a broader developer community; but this update will upgrade even those and even add third-party support for Web applications as well as allow the iPad to turn magically into a hotspot. I know I absolutely love the idea of making one of my mobile devices capable of powering my Internet connection for my extremely expensive laptop. In fact, at friend’s houses or places I cannot get Internet access, that’s exactly what I yearn for. The iPad is nice and all for on-the-go computing, but when it comes down to hardcore Web browsing or actual research, nothing beats my desktop replacement; but it’s useless to me without some way to actually reach and use the Internet.
The biggest news on the block, however, seems to be the introduction of multitouch gesture support. Right now the support seems somewhat primitive, but it has a myriad of applications for navigation. Being able to detect one finger or multiple fingers on the screen and the directions they’re moving means that there’s a lot more ways the user can interact with the device.
See the video below for a very short demo.