updated 01:10 pm EST, Wed March 9, 2011
iOS 4.3 ready for download
Two days earlier than promised but consistent with one leak, Apple has released iOS 4.3. The update for GSM iPhones, all iPads and the iPhone 4 is available through iTunes. Verizon users don't need the update immediately since most of its features are included in iOS 4.2.6.
The update brings a handful of major features headlined by the Personal Hotspot. Similar to Android, users can have as many as five different devices sharing an iPhone 4's Internet connection. Apple claims that the total is a combination of multiple sources and can't include more than three Wi-Fi devices, three Bluetooth devices and one direct USB connection.
Other updates include support for the new Digital AV Adapter for HDMI output from any 2010 iOS device or later, Ping posts from the Now Playing screen, Ping push notifications, and single-tap conference call dialing. More options are now configurable, as users can set the iPad's side switch to either mute or its original rotation lock, and users can now set the number of times they get an alert.
The update is the first to exclude Apple's 2008 devices and requires at least an iPhone 3GS or third-generation iPod touch. Apple TV features also need the Apple TV 4.2 firmware update.