iOS 4.3 Reviewby Andrew Cunningham on March 9, 2011 11:00 PM EST
- Posted in
- iOS 4
- iPhone 4
- iPod Touch
- iPad 2
Those are probably the biggest functional changes, but there are some smaller things of note, most of which are best demonstrated with screenshots.
A few of the more user-facing: a new Noteworthy font in Notes app joins Helvetica and Marker Felt:
The Location Services menu has been moved to the top level of the Settings menu, giving you access to all of your Location Services-enabled apps:
The iPad’s switch, turned into a mute button in iOS 4.2, can once again be used as an orientation lock.
If you set the switch to work as an orientation lock, you can now find a mute button in the multitasking bar where the software orientation lock used to live:
And, of course, there’s a slew of even smaller changes: users can now delete an app which is currently downloading instead of having to wait until it finishes downloading, the iPhone now vibrates twice for text messages, and there are plenty of bugfixes that you can read about in the release notes.
Still MIA is an improved implementation of the AirPrint feature, introduced in iOS 4.2, which was originally intended to allow iOS users to print to any printer shared via iTunes by a PC or Mac. This feature was scaled back at the eleventh hour to support only direct printing to a handful of mostly-new printers built to support the feature. Workarounds exist to get it working with any printer, but official support for any ol’ printer has never materialized, and Apple has never offered much of an explanation.
Developers and/or tinkerers can also use XCode to unlock some iPad touch gestures that may be candidates for inclusion in the next iOS. These gestures use four or five finger swipes to reduce the number of times you have to quit what you’re doing to poke at the Home button: you can pinch to get to the home screen, you can swipe upward to see the multitasking bar, and you can swipe left or right to navigate between open apps.
Buried or not, these gestures could tell us something about possibilities for iOS 5: These functions look to enhance the existing iOS multitasking experience, but not necessarily to replace it with something else. It’s possible that Apple will look at Android and make some UI changes based on what Honeycomb does well, but if these gestures can be taken as an indication of things to come, we may not see any iOS UI overhauls when iOS 5 is unveiled later this year.
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ltcommanderdata - Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - linkLack of iOS 4.3 support for older devices makes sense given that it doesn't seem that most of the new features of iOS 4.3 would run on older devices anyways. Personal Hotspot only supports the iPhone 4, not even the iPhone 3G S probably due to processor cycle and RAM consumption concerns. Airplay isn't supported on the iPhone 3G even is iOS 4.2. And lack of Airplay support would likely make iTunes Home Sharing untenable too.
So in the end, with no new features in iOS 4.3 coming to 2nd gen devices, it makes sense that iOS 4.3 isn't available for 2nd gen devices. And it's not like there is competitive pressure from other OEMs who still support their ARM11 devices with the latest OS version.
However, I was expecting an iOS 4.2.2 to just bring iOS 4.3's security updates over to 2nd gen devices. As pointed out, 2nd gen devices were sold until September 2010 and it's reasonable to expect at least continued security support. That is a disappointment.
Guspaz - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - linkExcept for one problem: Nitro, AKA SquirrelFish Extreme, already supports ARMv6. It supports the following CPU architectures:
X86 - 32-bit Intel (for example, Windows, or Mac OS X versions Leopard or earlier)
X86_64 - 64-bit Intel (for example Mac OS X SnowLeopard or many Linux distributions)
ARM_TRADITIONAL - traditional ARM instruction set, works on ARM v4 or newer
ARM_THUMB2 - ARM thumb2 instruction set, works on ARM v7 or newer
So... there isn't really any excuse. Yeah, it might not provide quite as big an advantage, but since they're still *SELLING* ARMv6 devices officially (see refurb iPod Touch 2nd gen, which was even sold new as recently as 7 months ago), there's really no reason not to support it.
ltcommanderdata - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - linkI haven't been tracking SquirrelFish development since the original announcement which included those 4 architectures. But has all four architectures kept being developed in sync? Presumably not otherwise Apple wouldn't have waited until now to introduce Nitro/SquirrelFish to iOS when it was available in OS X in 2008. If it's taken Apple nearly 3 years to get Nitro in a shippable state for ARMv7, that wouldn't bode well for the additional effort needed to get ARMv6 up to speed if extra work is necessary.
dsumanik - Friday, March 11, 2011 - linkNot quite... wifi hotspot works just fine on my jailbroken 3GS using mywi... With no 3 user limit....and has for over a year now... Even before iphone4 was released... There is absolutely no reason to block this feature except to force an upgrade.
The 3G could handle it easy as well.
If you own an older device and it bothers you apple didn't bring you this feature...
It's simple fast and easy
And oh yeah guess what.... you don't have ti pay fir arediculous data plan to use it either.... It just works.
Yet another idea the jailbreak community implemented that apple copies and then deliberately limits in order to make a profit (handset upgrade an data plan requirement)
If apple ever finds a way to permanently block jailbreakers I'm switching to android, iOS in it's stock form is very frustrating... You can't even use your phOne as a USB device unless you have iTunes and some sort of app installed lol
piroroadkill - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - linkNot even 3GS because of CPU and RAM concerns?
No. I have an HTC Magic 32B (yes, the shit one with 192MB RAM, and only a 528MHz ARM9, not a 600 Cortex A8 and 256MB like the 3GS) that can do wireless tethering after root, and have done successfully to at least two machines at once. Does get hot, though.
piroroadkill - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - linkARM11, sorry.
ltcommanderdata - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - linkThe iPhone 3GS can already do basic 3G tethering via Bluetooth or USB since iOS 3.0 (iOS 4.0 for AT&T). By not supporting Personal Hotspot the iPhone 3GS is limited to sharing the 3G connection with 1 device compared to 5 for the iPhone 4.
Besides, if you are comparing to a rooted Android phone, I'm sure it won't take long for people to find and easy way enable Personal Hotspot on jailbroken iPhone 3GS.
fogpuppy - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - linkIt already exists. It's called MyWi. The best wifi hotspot for jailbroken iPhones ....
MobiusStrip - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - linkThere are plenty of software-design defects that should never have made it out the door on the first iPhone, never mind remaining on two generations of phones for four years. Topping the list would be the lack of continuing periodic AUDIBLE alerts for missed calls and voicemails.
What special kind of stupidity leads to a phone that chirps once, immediately after you miss a call, and then never again? Let's say your phone's charging on your dresser while you're taking a shower, and you miss a call. You get out of the shower and spend 10 minutes right next to it, and it never makes a peep. The next day you go to use your phone and find out your friends called you for happy hour. MORONIC. There are plenty of scenarios just like this, which lead to you missing time with friends and family because in 2011, Apple's handheld Unix computers are too stupid to tell you that you missed a call.
I have a 1980s microwave that beeps periodically if I forget to take the food out. My 1990s StarTAC audibly told me that I missed a call 20 minutes ago. WTF, Apple?
strikeback03 - Friday, March 11, 2011 - linkI have no idea if my current Android phone will give repeated audio alerts, but I know my previous Windows Mobile phone did not without a third party program. Both do have notification lights, so as long as you look at them occasionally you would see the notification. This does seem to be somewhat widespread for smartphones though.