Apple iOS 4.3 Beta 2 Available to Developers

Apple released iOS 4.3 Beta 2 to developers on January 19th, 2011.

There appears to be a number of feature enhancements defined in the latest SDK, namely confirmation that the upcoming iPad will indeed support both a front and rear-facing camera.  Additionally there are two new application stubs referenced – Photostream and FaceTime.

Apple is also testing new multi-gesture features that they have told developers would not necessarily make it in time for the 4.3 release.  These features make use of a four finger gesture that activates the multitasking view mode and permits the user to swap between running applications depending on the direction of the swipe.  Pinching a running application removes it from the active screen and places it in the background.

On the iPhone, the addition of a personal hotspot has been confirmed which permits up to four connected users.  This permits other devices without 3G the ability to use the iPhone mobile hotspot as a Wi-Fi access point without the need of establishing bluetooth pairing or tethering with a USB cable.  Apple also appears to be enhancing the use of social networking with iTunes Ping notifications being present (see picture).

The developer kit contains a folder called Media Stream that would allow iPhone users to connect and share photos, according to 9to5Mac. The beta suggests that in the future users will be able to subscribe to each other’s photo streams and even set privacy settings, a la Facebook.

9to5Mac said it appears Media Stream “will go way beyond photos in the future. We think Apple will expand this to music and videos, maybe like AirPlay between mobile iOS devices …”

Lastly, there are references to a new service, Photostream that will automatically upload and synchronize any pictures taken from any iOS device ensuring all MobileMe connected devices have the same picture libraries.  Further enhancements are also expected with the MobileMe gallery service.

About Grant Fengstad

I’m a technology professional in the travel and transportation sector and have been very involved with the Internet for over 20 years.