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  • iPod Touch Update: What's New in iOS 4.3
Technology Articles > Gadgets > Apple iPods > iPod Touch Update: What's New in iOS 4.3

If you’ve plugged your iPod Touch into your computer and fired up iTunes lately, you’ll have noticed that there’s a new version of iOS 4.3 available. This update is less sweeping than the iOS 4.2 update, but there are still some changes that are worth noting. Here are the improvements in the iOS 4.3software update that pertain to iPod Touch users:

AirPlay Improved

AirPlay is a new feature introduced in iOS 4.2 that lets you stream content from your iPod Touch or other iOS device to a compatible speaker or device without the use of wires. The latest update allows you to stream videos from your Photos app straight to an AirPlay device. This makes it easier to play home videos on another device, such as an Apple TV or Mac. Previously, you could only display movies that were in your iPod App (i.e. movies downloaded or synced from iTunes).

Safari Speed Boost

The iOS mobile web browser—Safari—got an update to its Javascript engine that purportedly boosts the speed of JavaScript processing by 100%. This doesn’t mean that your overall web browsing experience is twice as fast, it simply means that JavaScript elements will load more quickly. However, given that the vast majority of dynamic websites—particularly those powered by AJAX—use a good deal of JavaScript, this improvement should be a boon to most mobile web sites. Apple is calling this update the “Nitro JavaScript Engine.”

Introducing: iTunes Home Sharing

iOS 4.3 lets you stream content from your iTunes library on your Mac or PC directly to your iPod Touch. That way, you don’t have to sync movies or music to your handheld device in order to play it back. All you need is to be connected on the same local area network (i.e. your home’s wireless router). Note also that both devices must be powered on and connected to a shared Wi-Fi network for this feature to work. Overall, this is a great way to centralize your content at home.

Other Updates Not Affecting the iPod Touch

Remember that iOS runs on iPhones and iPads as well, so there are some improvements that won’t matter much to iPod Touch users. For one, they added support for a switch on the iPad that locks the screen orientation. There’s also support for personal hotspot sharing on the iPhone 4, which lets you convert your 3G or mobile Internet connection into a WiFi hub for computers to connect to. These features do not pertain to the iPod Touch.

To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade?

The iTunes Home Sharing feature is the most exciting upgrade in this round of improvements, and if you have a large collection of audio or video content on your main computer that you want to share with all of your devices, then this update could be quite handy. Also, as always, it’s best to have the latest stable software version installed to decrease security risks.

If you are jailbreaker, however, you should wait. The only jailbreak method currently available for the iOS 4.3.1 OS is a tethered version, which requires you to have your phone plugged in via USB each time you restart it.