Apple unveiled the iPad 2 today, complete with front and rear-facing cameras, a new dual core Apple A5 processor, and a thinner, lighter design. It will be available starting on March 11th. But the next-gen iPad isn’t the only new thing coming out of Cupertino today. Apple has also introduced iOS 4.3, it’s next generation operating system for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. It’s been in beta testing for a since January, but it should be available for the public starting on March 11th.

Apple says iOS 4.3 will have a faster web browser, with JavaScript performance that’s as much as two times faster than in iOS 4.2. The OS also supports iTunes Home Sharing, allowing you to stream any audio or video stored in your iTunes library on a computer to an iOS device. Users will also now be able to stream audio and video from an iOS device to an Apple TV or other AirPlay device even if the audio or video is coming from an app or web page. Up until now you could only stream from Apple’s media player apps.

There’s also support for turning an iPhone 4 into a “personal hotspot,” sharing your 3G mobile broadband with other devices over WiFi. This feature will not be available for Verizon iPhones or the iPad.

Thanks to the new cameras on the iPad 2, Apple is launching versions of camera and video-centric apps for the iPad including FaceTime video chat for the iPad, an iPad version of the iMovie video editor, and a version of the OS X photo editor Photo Booth for iOS.

The iPad versions of iMovie and Garage Band will run $4.99 each, and they should be available in the App Store on March 11th.

There will also be a version of Garage Band with support for on-screen instruments, 8 track recording, and more than 250 loops. This makes a lot of sense, since we’ve seen a lot of musicians using the iPad to create music. Now they can also record, edit and mixing on the iPad. The projects will be compatible with the desktop version of Garage Band, allowing you to email files between devices.

Users will also be able to choose whether they want to use the switch on the side of the iPad as a volume mute button or a screen orientation lock.

The update will be available as a free download for GSM versions of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS as well as the iPad and 3rd and 4th generation iPods touch.

via Engadget, MobileCrunch, and Ars Technica

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...