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The iOS, the operating system for the iPhone and associated iDevices like the iPad, is a constantly shifting piece of software. The more recent iOS 4.2, the incremental update of the major iOS 4 additions, came along with the iPhone 4. Now with the iOS 4.3 update, Apple hopes to shift the use of its devices with a more detailed series of Airplay, hotspot, and iTunes home sharing features. Here is a look at how to download and install the iOS 4.3 update, and what features are built right in.
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How to Download and Install iOS 4.3
If you want to start out with your iOS 4.3 update, plug in your iPhone and iTunes will likely already prompt you to initiate the update. You can also go ahead and select your iPhone from under the Devices heading and then choose Updates from the Summary tab beneath the Versions headline. Once you choose the iOS 4.3 download (giving access to iOS 4.3 features), it will then give you a screen that outlines, in detail, all of the features that come along with the iOS 4.3 update for your iPhone and the other relevant devices.
After you choose Next you will be given the Terms and Agreements that you can then just Agree to. It will then initiate the iOS 4.3 download, which will take around five minutes, depending on the nature of your Internet connection. After a file extraction, iTunes will prepare the iPhone and the touch screen will go black before essentially restarting and giving you a progress bar to watch, as the iOS 4.3 update is installed on your iPhone. The iPhone will then be restarted and will be ready to use once again.
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iOS 4.3 Features
Once you've completed the iOS 4.3 download, the iOS 4.3 features are now available to you. The most dramatic iOS 4.3 features to be included, are the additions to AirPlay, a feature that Apple is trying to push on all of their devices. With this you will be able stream media content from your iDevices to things like you HD television, and now you will be able to do this with iPhone apps and websites with the iOS 4.3.
The iPhone 4 is going to open up the ability to share data features with five devices through the iPhone personal hotspot feature. Through this, the cellular data can then be shared with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and USB devices.
As long as you have iTunes 10.2, you will also be able to use different media items, such as music and videos, through your iTunes library that is shared. This is really going to open up how you tap your iPhone in to home base computers.
The trend of integration between the portable devices and larger televisions, or home theater elements where HD video is able to be used on a TV with the Apple Digital AV Adapter, continues. This does not just mean that you can play the iPhone's 720p HD videos through the HDMI, but also apps, YouTube, Safari, and other elements.
Social networking has been addressed by Apple with Ping, and one of the more interesting iOS 4.3 features involves actual Push Notifications from Ping and the ability to do Facebook relevant features such as liking and posting songs.
There are a lot of smaller iOS 4.3 features too, like the ability to lock the screen rotation on the iPad from the side switch, and a number of minor bugs that should make the iOS 4.3 software run a little smoother. Safari has made a large step forward with the addition of Flash Nitro, and this is going to make the option for browsing the Internet a little more practical.
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The iOS 4.3 download and update system, is also a way for Apple to exclude the older devices. Only certain devices are actually compatible for the iOS 4.3 update, which includes the GSM model of the iPhone 4, the iPhone 3GS, the iPad, and the 3rd and 4th generations of iPod Touch. This completely leaves out the first two versions of both the iPod Touch and the iPhone.
A few of the iOS 4.3 features are also dependent on other elements and are not universal. The iPhone personal hotspot feature is only relevant to iPhone 4's that already have a tethering data plan. The newest AirPlay items are only going to be relevant for people that have Apple TV, which limits the effectiveness of the feature greatly. If you want to use video with the Apple Digital AV Adapter, then you are going to be limited to doing this only with the iPad, the iPhone 4, and the iPod Touch 4.
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iOS 4.3 Software Update http://www.apple.com/ios/
Source: Author's own experience.