Apple Releases iOS 4.3: Download Links And Feature Explanation

Apple Releases iOS 4.3: Download Links And Feature Explanation

Apple has today released another update to it’s iOS platform: iOS 4.3. The 4.3 update includes a number of features and enhancements, such as a newly redesigned JavaScript engine (NitroAV, ported from desktop OS X, said to greatly increase web performance in Mobile Safari), Personal Hotspot for AT&T users, significantly enhanced AirPlay functionality, iTunes Home Sharing, choice of how to use your lock switch on an iPad, and message alerts.

We’ll bring you more information as we experiment with our own devices. You can obtain the latest update by launching iTunes, plugging in your iDevice, and hitting the “Check for Update” button. In addition, here are the direct download links (credit: OSXDaily):

iPhone 4 (GSM)
iPhone 4 (CDMA) – not yet released
iPhone 3GS
iPad 1
iPod touch 3G
iPod touch 4G
Apple TV 2

iOS 4.3 IPSW is also available for the upcoming iPad 2:

iPad 2,1
iPad 2,2
iPad 2,3

If you are having trouble downloading the ISPW files, right-click and “Save As” or use a different browser.

The Verizon iPhone 4 CDMA model is expected to receive the 4.3 update later, although no timeline has been announced from Apple. Older iOS hardware such as iPhone 3 and iPod touch 2G and 3G models will not be supported by iOS 4.3.

In addition, See below for DOWNLOADSQUAD’s explanation of each of the new features.

Personal Hotspot
iOS 4.3 iPhone 4 Personal HotspotIf you happen to be an iPhone 4 owner, and are willing to pay for tethering, iOS 4.3 is going to make that even easier thanks to its new Personal Hotspot feature. Essentially working in a similar fashion to the Android hotspot feature, Personal Hotspot broadcasts a Wi-Fi hotspot for connecting up to three (or five) Wi-Fi enabled devices, sharing your iPhone’s 3G data connection between them. It’s a simple, yet effective way of sharing a cellular data connection, but it’s likely that you’ll have to pay something extra on top of your existing data contract in the same way you currently have to for Bluetooth or USB tethering on most cellular networks.

iTunes Home Sharing
iTunes Home Sharing iOS 4.3Probably the biggest change other than the Personal Hotspot in iOS 4.3 is the addition of Home Sharing for iTunes. Essentially it allows you to stream your iTunes library from a computer, including video, over Wi-Fi to your iDevice. That means you can stream TV shows, movies and music, be it from a Windows or Mac PC, to your iPad, iPod, or iPhone without having to store all that media on the device itself. Of course you could already do that with an Apple TV, but iOS 4.3 brings all iDevices that support it into line.

Nitro engine for Mobile Safari
iOS 4.3 Mobile Safari Nitro JavaScript engine
Mobile Safari is set to get a significant performance increase with iOS 4.3 courtesy of the aptly named Nitro JavaScript engine, which comes from the desktop version of Safari on OS X. Apple’s new JS engine can apparently blaze through code at up to twice the speed as the one included in iOS 4.2, which should make general browsing a bit snappier and loading up JavaScript-heavy sites much faster. Nobody likes waiting around for a page to load, and while 3G is often the bottleneck in the Web-to-display pipeline, faster page rendering can only help solve your Hourglass syndrome.

iOS 4.3 AirPlay
Third-party apps, and even websites, that decide to include the correct APIs can now stream pictures, video, and audio over Wi-Fi to the Apple TV, or another AirPlay-enabled device, just like Apple’s built-in iOS apps. Apple’s own Photos app can also now stream video you’ve shot with your iDevice, where previously you would have had to import the video into iTunes and sync it back to your device to send it over AirPlay.

iPad lock switch choice
This one’s for the iPad only. Owners who happened to like using the lock switch on the side of the iPad as it operated from launch, before Apple changed it to a mute switch, now have the option to choose which they prefer. A small but important change for many. This also means that screen rotation or mute, which ever option isn’t selected for the side switch, gets shunted down into the multitasking bar as a swipe to the right along with the brightness control, iPod control, and AirPlay button.

Message alerts

iOS 4.3 iPhone SMS alert tone repeatMessage alerts got a rather subtle upgrade with iOS 4.3 in the form of modified vibration behavior. In iOS 4.2 the iPhone would vibrate once regardless of whether it was an email or SMS you received. In iOS 4.3 the iPhone will now vibrate twice for an SMS message. You can also specify how many times you want to be reminded that you have a text message waiting if you don’t clear the alert. It’s a nice addition that allows you to decipher whether you received a text message or an email when the phone is on silent and in your pocket without having to check the screen.

The extra text message tones that were added in iOS 4.2 have also been modified to make them more SMS-alert worthy. Most have been cut in half to make them much shorter and, while the majority of them are still a bit long for SMS tones, a few are now usable without annoying everyone around you for 5 seconds every time you get a message.