Apple today released iOS 4.3, the latest operating system for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, whose new features include Personal Hotspot, AirPlay support for third-party apps, faster JavaScript Web browsing speeds, HD video out using the Apple Digital AV Adapter and various bug fixes.

The release is a surprise since the company had announced that iOS 4.3 would launch on March 11th, the same day the iPad2 will be released in the United States.

Digital Home has downloaded and updated both an iPad and iPhone 3GS through iTunes. The iPad download was 597 MB while the iPhone download was 423MB. Once downloaded, iTunes took less than four minutes to update the iPad and about eight minutes to update the iPhone 3GS.

The following is a list of new features and improvements, provided by Apple:
  • Personal Hotspot - Share iPhone 4 cellular data connection with up to 5 devices (combination of up to 3 Wi-Fi, 3 Bluetooth, and 1 USB)
  • iTunes Home Sharing - Play music, movies and TV shows from a shared iTunes
  • library on a Mac or PC (requires iTunes 10.2)
  • New AirPlay features - Play videos from the Photos app including the Camera Roll album, iTunes previews, enabled third-party apps and websites on Apple TV - Play slideshows from Photos on Apple TV using transitions available on Apple TV
  • Faster Safari performance with Apple Nitro JavaScript engine
  • HD video out using the Apple Digital AV Adapter - View 720p HD videos from Videos app, iPod app, Photos, YouTube, Safari, Keynote, and enabled third-party apps on an HDMI display
  • Ping features including Push notifications for comments and follow requests, Post and Like songs directly from the Now Playing screen, and Parental controls
  • New Settings including:  Messages setting for number of times to repeat an alert, iPad side switch setting to lock screen rotation or mute audio notifications and sound effects, Single tap conference call dialing with a pause to send a passcode
  • Bug fixes

Products compatible with this software update:
  • iPhone 4 (GSM model)
  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPad
  • iPod touch (4th generation)
  • iPod touch (3rd generation)

Discuss in Digital Home's Smartphone and Tablet Computing forum .