Apple Releases iOS 4.3

Speaking of a steady release of mobile OS software updates, iOS 4.3 is out. There’s a bunch of new stuff, including hotspot tethering for the iPhone 4, but the JavaScript performance improvements in Mobile Safari are impressive. Using the SunSpider benchmark on my original iPad, I got an average of about 8100 ms on iOS 4.2.1; with iOS 4.3, that drops to about 3300 ms — about a 2.5× improvement.

For a full run-through of what’s new, check out Rene Ritchie’s tour at TiPb.

Update: Lots of readers asking about the fact that 4.3 is not available for the CDMA (a.k.a. Verizon) iPhone 4. Apple has no official statement on that, but my understanding is that the CDMA iPhone 4 today is a bit like the original iPad was a year ago — it’s on its own branch of iOS. It already has some 4.3 features, like the hotspot, and the word on the street in Cupertino is that it’ll get onto the standard OS update track within the next release or two. I’m not sure if that means iOS 4.3.1 (or whatever), or iOS 5, but it will happen. This is not — I repeat not — the sort of thing where Verizon has any sort of block or hold on OS updates.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011