Apple releases iOS 4.3 beta and SDK to developers

Apple has released the latest version of the iOS4 mobile operating system and a new SDK to developers.

Beta 1 of iOS 4.3 - released for the iPad, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and Apple TV 2G - boasts four and five-finger multi-touch gestures (for the iPad), the personal hotspot feature trumpeted at the launch of the Verizon iPhone launch yesterday, Airplay video streaming for third-party Apps, and a host of minor interface and design tweaks.

Eagle-eyed readers will have noted that the original iPhone and the iPhone 3G are not included in the list of supported devices for the first time, meaning owners of older handsets will have to upgrade their hardware or miss out on the new features.

We're also hearing unconfirmed rumours that code for controlling an iPad camera is buried deep within the Software Developer's Kit (SDK) adding further weight to the worst-kept secret in the world: that the iPad 2 will have cameras.

The normally reliable Boy Genius Report is also reporting that future iterations of the the iPad and the iPhone will lose the now familiar Home button, which will be replaced with one of the aforementioned multi-touch gestures. Apparently, Steve Jobs originally wanted all iDevices to be button-free and the iPad 2 and iPhone 5 could see him finally getting his way.

We'll have a deeper analysis of what's currently included in iOS 4.3 and the SDK later in the day when we've had a chance to have a proper play.