updated 03:05 pm EST, Tue March 8, 2011
Early rollout could dodge server overload
The iOS 4.3 update will mostly likely arrive tomorrow, according to The Loop's Jim Dalrymple. A rumor had the firmware arriving as soon as today, but the predicted release window has since come and gone. Dalrymple claims however that the actual date should be Wednesday; he tells MacNN that the information comes from various sources.
Even a Wednesday update would be earlier than Apple's official date, March 11th. The company could however have strong reason to release iOS 4.3 ahead of time. A gold master is already in the hands of developers, and Apple servers could be jammed with traffic on the 11th while iPad 2 buyers activate their devices and download apps. Simultaneous hardware and firmware updates have created serious networking problems for Apple in the past.
Several enhancements will come with v4.3. The most important of these may be the expansion of personal hotspots to non-Verizon iPhones. It will also enable AirPlay for websites and third-party apps, and Home Sharing, permitting iOS devices to stream content from a nearby Mac or Windows PCs. A much-requested change is the ability to toggle an iPad's switch between mute or orientation lock; in a previous firmware release Apple changed the function to mute, spawning many complaints.