Ina Fried

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The Skinny on iOS 4.3

In addition to announcing the new iPad 2, Apple also offered new details on iOS version 4.3, the next release of the operating system that powers the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

Among its features are:

  • FaceTime video chat being added to the iPad
  • Improved JavaScript performance
  • Better home sharing with AirPlay, including improved slideshows and the ability to stream video from within iOS apps.
  • Users will be able to use switch on the iPad to either mute or lock the screen orientation. originally the button on the iPad was used to lock the screen, but Apple changed the button to match the iPhone’s mute setting with last iOS update. Not everyone liked the change.
  • Personal Hotspot (for iPhone 4 only). Now it won’t just be on Verizon iPhone, bringing smiles to AT&T, which has said it hoped to offer such a feature soon.

It’s coming as a free update March 11 for GSM iPhones (i.e. AT&T for folks in the U.S.), the iPad and recent iPod Touches. Apple is also bringing iMovie to the iPad as a universal app that will run on both iPads and IPhones for $4.99 on March 11.

Garage Band also coming to iPad, Jobs said, with a version that is compatible with the Mac version so you can start a music project on one and finish on the other. There are instruments that look like the real thing and even “smart instruments” for those that can’t play a note. (See mom, I told you the accordion lessons were wasted on me!)

Check out our hands-on video with the iPad 2.