iOS 4.3 Beta released to developers

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Apple has seeded the first beta version of iOS 4.3 to developers.

The iOS 4.3 beta is available in versions for iPad, iPhone 4 and 3GS, and third and fourth generation iPod touch, as well as a separate download for the new Apple TV. Consequently, there is some speculation that Apple will no longer be supporting the iPhone 3G and second generation iPod touch with operating system updates. As VoiceOver has never been supported by these older devices, this development (if true) should have no impact on users of the AppleVis website.

Details of changes included in the new version are beginning to surface.

Apple had been said to be building in support for personal hotspot functionality as seen on the Verizon iPhone. Configuration settings for personal hotspot functionality are indeed present in the iOS 4.3 beta.

iOS 4.3 now allows developers to stream video to compatible devices via AirPlay.

MacStories notes that Apple has implemented new multi-touch gestures for the iPad, including four and five finger pinch gestures to take users to the home screen, swipe for multitasking tray, and swipe to switch apps. It is not yet known whether these gestures will have VoiceOver variants.

A new FaceTime icon and support for full-screen banner format iAds for the iPad have also been spotted.

One of the more controversial changes made with the release of iOS 4.2 late last year was a change in the functionality of the switch on the side of the iPad, moving it from a screen rotation lock to a mute switch as seen on the iPhone. Apple CEO Steve Jobs had even reportedly responded to a customer question by noting that the change was permanent and that it would not be a user-configurable option.

Apple appears to have had a change of heart, as the iOS 4.3 beta appears to have added an option in the device's Settings application to allow users to customize the behavior of the switch.

A release date for iOS 4.3 has still to be confirmed.

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