Last night Apple released the newest version of their iOS operating system. As it sits you can upgrade if you’re running an iPhone 3GS or GSM 4 (the CDMA iPhone 4 doesn’t get this update), iPad, third or forth generation iPod Touch, or an Apple TV. All support for the iPhone 3G appears to have been abandoned which isn’t surprising considering how Apple doesn’t really like supporting legacy products (although they seem to support their devices longer than most phone manufacturers).
So what’s changed? Most notable is Apple has now included Wi-Fi hot spot functionality… to those who have tethering plans. This allows you to turn your phone into a Wi-Fi access point. When a device connects to your iPhone it is able to use the iPhone’s data plan. Of course being you need a tethering plan (which I don’t get on AT&T since you pay by data usage you should be able to chose how you want to use your data) this feature is potentially very expensive.
Another feature is the ability to use iTunes Home Sharing. This feature simply allows your iOS device to access your iTunes library (podcasts, music, videos, etc.) if you’ve set it up to use iTunes Home Sharing. I can see this being nice if you have a media collection too large to place everything on your iOS device.
Under the hood Apple has included enhancements to Safari’s JaveScript engine, AirPlay improvements, HDMI-out capabilities (with purchase of the Apple 30-pin to HDMI adapter), and the ability to configure the iPad’s side switch to either be a mute switch or an orientation lock.
Needless to say nothing really Earth shattering was included but that is to be expected with a point release.