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iOS 4.3: Better AirPlay, Hotspot Settings, iPad Gestures

Apple (s aapl) finally allows third-party apps to broadcast video content to Apple TV 2 in the new iOS 4.3 beta released today. Also new in the beta is support for a variety of new multi-touch gestures for the iPad, and new settings for creating a Personal Hotspot, as we suggested it might include earlier.

The update represents major improvements to Apple’s mobile operating system. The new AirPlay support allows any third-party app to share video over-the-air with the new Apple TV. That means Hulu Plus, Netflix(s nflx), and any other streaming video application could potentially beam content to your big screen TV. AirPlay is disabled by default in the new beta, but at least now developers have the option of turning it on.

iPad multi-touch gestures introduced in iOS 4.3 include the ability to pinch with four or five fingers to exit an app and return to the home screen, or to swipe up to reveal the multitasking bar. You can also swipe left or right to switch between your open apps. I’m surprised it took so long for these to appear. The iPad also gets a setting to let users choose whether to use the hardware switch to mute or rotation-lock the device.

Finally, iOS 4.3 does seem to offer Personal Hotspot capabilities, like those unveiled at Verizon’s press conference (s vz) Tuesday for its version of the iPhone 4. These settings are definitely available for the iPhone, but it’s not yet clear whether they’ll also be available to 3G versions of the iPad, which can’t yet even share its connection via tethering. And even though the settings are there, that doesn’t mean every carrier will take advantage of them.

There’s also a new FaceTime icon (on iPod touch devices) that looks a little odd, and it looks like 4.3 won’t be available for the iPhone 3G or iPod touch 2nd generation.

Which new feature are you most excited about?

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16 Responses to “iOS 4.3: Better AirPlay, Hotspot Settings, iPad Gestures”

  1. @John It’s up to the carriers. Knowing them, it’ll either cost an arm and a leg; or be ignored and enabled on all devices by default with outragous charges for going over your current limit.
    @Kyle It’s almost certain that 4.3 will get onto the iPhone 3GS from what the devs can tell.

    With video streaming AirPlay, I wonder if game devs will be able to stream the entire game to a TV? Kind of strange how the iPhone has become a prominent gaming platform completely by accident.

  2. Quick question: does it look like iOS 4.3 will be available to 3GS? I see you mentioned it probably won’t be available to 3G, thoughts on 3GS?

    PS, super excited about the possibility of Hulu on my Apple TV2 via AirPlay! Crossing my fingers! My goal is to cut the chord by summer…

  3. Tharsman

    What feature I am more excited about? One that didn’t get noted here: The new gestures to reveal multi-tasking and swap applications (saw it in another article.) I always considered the double-tap of the home screen button to be extremely unnatural.

  4. I’m sure the new AirPlay is big deal.
    Btw,I haven’t updated my iPad with 4.2.1 and decided not to update anytime until the they keep mute and rotation as it is or give that option to me.

    Sounds like they are listening to me and I should be ready for 4.3 !!!!