Apple's iOS 4.3 to bring many features along with the mobile hotspot option

The first beta of Apple's iOS 4.3 promises several new features for iPhone and iPad users.

Following the Verizon iPhone announcement, I pondered whether all iPhones will get the new mobile hotspot feature (currently a big advantage over the GSM iPhone available from AT&T and other carriers worldwide). The answer, it turns out, is yes – plus some other new features.

Apple seeded a beta version of the upcoming iOS 4.3 release to developers following the announcement. The update is newer than the version (4.2.5) running on Verizon's CDMA iPhones and includes the mobile hotspot feature (which has been confirmed to work by iPhone users in Canada). The update may also offer a handful of additional features, but will remove support for some previous iPhone models.

Here's a quick rundown of the facts available so far:

  • Mobile hotspot
  • The option to specify that a device should repeatedly alert you at two minute intervals for texts/messages along with how many times to alert you (I wouldn't be surprised to see this used for more than text and other messages)
  • New multitouch gestures for the iPad (which may mean a future iPad, and possibly iPhone, would drop the iconic home button)
  • A Find My Friends feature that uses Apple's Find my iPhone functionality to offer a Google Latitude like offering (this one seems a little less definite than other features uncovered so far)
  • An upcoming iPad will have camera-based features/apps (something already assumed by most)
  • Customization of the side switch on the iPad (originally a screen orientation lock that became a mute switch in iOS 4.2, which led to complaints from users)
  • The ability to use AirPlay to send video from additional apps (including third-party apps) to other devices like computers and Apple TVs
  • References to two additional iPhone and three additional iPad models (most likely these are GSM and CDMA versions of the next iPhone and Wi-Fi-only, GSM, and CDMA versions of the next iPad)
  • iOS 4.3 will not run on the iPhone 3G or second generation iPod touch (not surprising given the limited features available to these models and performance problems of iOS 4 on them)

Although this isn't a huge list of new features, all of them look good. I also wouldn't be surprised to find more feature in future betas.

Which new features look the most impressive to you? What additional features would you like to see Apple add in iOS 4.3? Let us know in the comments.

Ryan Faas writes about personal technology for ITworld. Learn more about Faas' published works and training and consulting services at Follow him on Twitter @ryanfaas.

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