Apple releases beta of iOS 4.3, AppleTV software to developers [Updated]

Apple has just published an "iOS 4.3 beta" for its registered developers, offering support for the new "Personal Hotspot," as well as new access for app and web app developers to use their "AirPlay" for video, while seemingly dropping support for the iPhone 3G - at least for the current release.

The "Personal Hotspot" feature, shown yesterday at Verizon's iPhone 4 announcement, allows iPhone users to turn their device into a WiFi hotspot, allowing up to 5 devices to connect and use the data provided on a phone's data plan. This feature, of course, is carrier-dependant - not everyone will be allowed to access it.

Further integration of AirPlay has also made it into this beta release, allowing developers to opt-in to have video, in addition to audio that was already support, pushed to the Apple TV. Web developers are required to use a proprietary "airplay" parameter in their HTML code in order to allow video from the web to play over the service, while app developers similarly have to eable support in their own applications.

The beta release also drops support for the iPhone 3G. While this is not necessarily a permenant change - Apple may decide to release iOS 4.3 for the iPhone 3G later on - it does seem to suggest that the iPhone 3G will not get the "Mobile Hotspot" feature, and will instead be limited to tethering, as it has done since the release of iOS (then iPhone OS) 3. The iPhone 3G does not support AirPlay, and thus it is highly unlikely that it will receive the new AirPlay features.

It is not yet known when iOS 4.3 will be released to all users.

Update: We have also learned, via AppleInsider, of some new 4 and 5 finger gestures included in the release for the iPad, improving the experience for multitasking. Apple has included the ability to swipe up with 4 fingers to show the multitasking bar, swipe left and right between applications, and pinch to get back to the home screen. The ability to use the switch on the side to lock orientation has also been restored, giving users an option in the settings to change the switch from a mute switch.

With contributions from Neowin reporter Matthew Jones.

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