With the iPad 2 finally out in the wild after weeks of rumours and speculation over the features that will and won’t make the cut, it’s time to move on to the software! iOS 4.3 has been out for the iPad in beta for a while now, I’ve been running it myself since the new year, but we haven’t heard anything from the horse’s mouth. Until now.
iOS 4.3 has introduced some new features alongside a few tweaks for iPhone and iPad users, such as increased performance and personal hotspot capability for the iPhone. Apple has also thrown a few additional applications in the mix for iPad users, such as GarageBand and iMovie. Want to take a closer look? Carry on reading to check out all that’s new!
One thing that a lot of people were annoyed about with the introduction of iOS 4.2 was the switch on the side of the iPad, which up until that point controlled the orientation lock, was changed so that it could mute the iPad, like it does on the iPhone. Many users, myself included, found this to be a needless change, and sure enough Apple have decided to give us the choice of what we want the switch to do.
iOS 4.3 also introduces iTunes Home Sharing, so that you can share an iTunes library with someone else who is on your local network, and listen to the tracks in their library whilst they listen to yours. Home Sharing is something I’ve been enjoying in iTunes since its introduction, so to see it make its way on to the iPad is great.
The personal hotspot feature (which we totally called) of iOS 4.3 is limited to the iPhone, so unfortunately iPad users can’t take advantage of this.
New Apple iPad Apps
With the introduction of front and rear facing cameras on the new generation iPad, it’s only fair that we get a little bit of software to actually use those shiny new lenses. Apple, of course, hasn’t disappointed. Bundled with iOS 4.3 for the iPad is the FaceTime application, which is now available on the iPhone, iPad and Mac OS X, so the ecosystem is pretty complete right there. You get the usual frills of talking to someone face to face, so I don’t need to go in to too much depth there.
If you want to make more use out of the cameras, then you can grab the new iMovie for iPad from the App Store. It’s a universal application, so if you’ve already bought it for the iPhone then you will be all set without dropping another penny. iMovie on the iPad allows you to edit any video that you’ve captured, enables you to record multiple audio tracks for a single project and of course supports AirPlay for Apple TV so that you can show off your finished creation. The new app comes with over 50 sound effects, more themes, and a host of sharing options including YouTube and Facebook.
The second app to be brought to the little-big screen is GarageBand, which is making the transition from Mac OS X’s iLife suite. It features a range of touch instruments (goodbye third party instrument applications), has over 250 loops and also allows you to create an AAC version of your song once you’re done with it. The interface looks pretty sharp, and if you’re using an instrument such as the piano, the keys even respond to how hard you’re pressing them using the built in accelerometer!
Both iMovie and GarageBand are $4.99, and they both look awesome. They will be released on March 11th, alongside the US launch of the iPad 2.