Apple Introducing iOS 4.3 Upgrade for the iPhone Next Week

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The next version of Apple’s operating system for its smartphone, tablet, and handheld will be available in just over a week. Among other enhancements, this will include mobile hotspot software and a faster web browser.

CEO Steve Jobs took to a stage in San Francisco today to unveil the iPad 2, but it was Scott Forstall, Apple’s senior vice president for iOS Software, who got the job of describing the new features in iOS 4.3.

Apple Personal Hotspot SoftwareAmong the most notable additions is an app that will allow the iPhone 4 to act like a mobile Wi-Fi access point, sharing its cellular-wireless Internet connection with other computers. 

This is already a feature in Verizon’s version of this smartphone, but Forstall did not say whether AT&T’s customers will get access to this app. However, this carrier recently began offering mobile hotspot service on some of its other smartphones.

UPDATE: AT&T has confirmed that its version of the iPhone 4 will get the mobile hotspot app. More information on what this feature will cost can be found in this article.

Faster Browsing and Other Improvements
The web browser in iOS 4.3 will get the new Nitro JavaScript engine, which Forstall promised will lead to “significantly increased Safari performance”.

In addition, Apple is adding support for iTunes Home Sharing to its mobile operating system. This feature, which is already part of the desktop version of iTunes, allows users to share their music and movies with other iTunes users on the same network.

With this new version, smartphone, tablet, and handheld users will be able to send more types of content to an Apple TV. 

Not Much of a Wait
The release of iOS 4.3 upgrades for Apple’s more recent mobile devices is scheduled for Friday, March 11.

There will be upgrades for the GSM version of the iPhone 4, the third- and fourth-generation iPod touch, and the iPad. The iPad 2 will debut running this version.

No mention of a version of iOS 4.3 for the iPhone 3GS or earlier Apple smartphones was made today.

 

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