Apple iOS 4.3 - the latest operating system for Apple iPad, Apple iPhone and later version of the Apple iPod touch - extends the capabilities of such iOS devices in meaningful ways
You might describe iOS 4 as a long-term investment. While the initial version brought us the much-demanded multitasking, subsequent updates haven't been restricted to mere bug fixes. Instead, we've gotten a slew of noticeable, if not major, improvements: AirPlay, AirPrint, Game Center, and so on. The newly released Apple iOS 4.3 is no exception, bringing not only a couple of significant enhancements in the form of the Personal Hotspot feature and Home Sharing, but also some smaller niceties as well.
As with Apple iOS 4, the 4.3 update plays well with only certain models - and on top of iOS 4.0's limitations, 4.3 narrows the field even further. You'll need an Apple iPhone 4 or Apple iPhone 3GS, an Apple iPad or Apple iPad 2, or a third- or fourth-generation Apple iPod touch to take advantage of the update.
Apple iOS 4.3: The AirPlay's the thing
AirPlay debuted in iOS 4.2 and iTunes 10--- it's a blanket term for several technologies, one of which is replacing the old AirTunes feature that let you stream music from your Mac or PC's iTunes library to Apple TVs and AirPort Express devices. AirPlay extended that, however, by letting you stream audio to those aforementioned devices directly from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, and even in some cases adding video-streaming support.
In iOS 4.3, AirPlay gets further beefed up with the ability to stream video from compatible Websites, third-party applications, and the Photos app. So if you want to watch iPad HD movies on HDTV thru AirPlay, you can stream it to your Apple TV with the tap of a button. Plus you can take advantage of all the slideshow transitions on the Apple TV; in order to do that, you'll need to hit the AirPlay button while viewing a photo and then hit the Play button to choose your slideshow transition from the Apple TV's list.
For those third-party apps that have implemented support (the only app I own that had updated as of this writing was Air Video), it works the same as with Apple's own built-in apps. When you start playing a video or a song, just tap the AirPlay control and select your Apple TV from the list. After a few seconds, the media should start playing there, but you'll be able to control it from your iOS device.
Apple iOS 4.3: Share and share alike
Introduced in iTunes 9, Home Sharing allows you to - among other things - play media from one computer on your local network on a different computer. In iOS 4.3, that feature gets extended to iOS devices as well. Once you've set up Home Sharing on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you'll be able to toggle back and forth between playing media from your local device and from Home Sharing-enabled computers on your network.
Performance in streaming is very good: music and short videos start playing almost immediately. Longer videos (or HD ones) can take some time to buffer before they start playing back. Quality is very good in all cases, with music nearly indistinguishable in quality from that on the local device and the video clear and easily watchable. Playback was smooth, even with multiple devices streaming from the same library, and I was able to scrub around in HD videos without having to wait for lengthy rebuffering times.
Among the few drawbacks, the Genius feature isn't available when you're accessing shared libraries and, since Home Sharing only supports content in your iTunes library, you can't stream photos stored on your computer. One missing feature, however, is the ability to stream content from an iOS device to either another iOS device or a Mac or PC. At the moment, iOS devices are limited to being Home Sharing clients, not servers; adding that server functionality would be handy for cases where you want to share music or videos from your iPhone or iPad with friends.
That said, if you have an Apple TV or AirPort Express, there is another option: AirPlay.
Apple iOS 4.3: Bits and bobs
Apple iOS 4.3: Goodbye to 5.1 sounds?
“I have a number of non-iTunes movies loaded on my iPad and iPhone 4, prior to the 4.3 update, I was able to play all of them. After iOS 4.3, only movies with 2-channel audio playback.” Many Apple fans have had issues with the sound of my backed up movies after the iOS 4.3 update. Movies bought from iTunes work just fine, but sound is completely gone from personal backed up movies. The problem is with iPad and Apple TV. This happens to movies with AAC and Dolby Digital 5.1 channels. Movies with Stereo AAC audio work just fine.
Maybe we can expect Apple to address this issue in the next upgrade but before that the only way to get sound back is down converting 5.1 surround sounds to stereo.
Tools you may need for solving 5.1 audio playing back issues with iOS 4.3:
1. Pavtube Video Converter, which is capable of converting MP4, MOV, M4V videos to Apple TV and iPad optimized videos and meanwhile degrade AAC/AC3 5.1 to AAC stereo.
2. Pavtube Blu-ray Ripper, an app that rips protected Blu-ray and DVD movies to Apple TV, iPad, and iPod Touch playable videos with AAC stereo audio by default. Also allows users to set AAC or AC3 5.1 audio.
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