Apple Previews iOS 4.3

At today’s media event where the iPad 2 was announced, Apple also previewed new features in iOS 4.3. The next version of the operating system for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch will feature iTunes home sharing, AirPlay improvements, and improved browser performance.

Home Sharing, a feature introduced to iTunes last year, will allow your iOS devices to access iTunes media content stored on your computer while connected to your home’s Wi-Fi network.

Safari for iOS will see some improvements as well, getting Javascript enhancements that will speed up the browser’s performance.

The switch above the volume buttons on the iPad will have a new preference setting allowing users to choose between volume muting and screen orientation locking functionality.

iOS 4.3 will also bring the personal hotspot feature to the iPhone 4. This feature is currently only available on the Verizon iPhone 4 and costs an additional $20 per month for Verizon customers to use. It allows users to share the iPhone 4’s cellular data connection via Wi-fi with up to five devices at once.

FaceTime is also coming to the iPad 2 in iOS 4.3. iPad users will be able to make and receive FaceTime calls with iPhone 4, 4th-generation iPod touch, Mac, and other iPad 2 users.

With the addition of cameras to the new iPad model, Photo Booth will be a new app that will come pre-installed on the iPad 2. Photo Booth is an application that was previously available only for the Mac and lets users take self-portraits and apply a variety of effects.

iOS 4.3 will be a free download available on March 11, the same day the iPad 2 will be available.