It may nearly be time for Apple’s iOS 4.3 to leave beta and enter wide release, with today’s rumors pegging the software for a February 14 release.
MacStories reports that a reliable source has told the site that the update will be made available at 10AM PST on the 14th. It’s been nearly a month since the first beta release of iOS 4.3 went out to developers, making AirPlay a lot more useful, teasing us with the prospect of new multi-touch gestures, and introducing wireless hotspot support. That last one lends credence to the rumored date, as it falls shortly after the retail availability of the Verizon iPhone, which will come with hotspots already enabled. The last thing Apple needs is to piss off all the AT&T users who have been using their iPhone 4s since launch day by preferentially giving major features to newcomers.
Other changes coming in 4.3 include the ability for apps to allow subscription modes, which will likely have a bigger impact on the iPad than the iPhone, with support for the recently-announced The Daily newspaper. There are also some preparations for future hardware in the iOS 4.3 code, supporting additional GPU chips.
Assuming not much will change since the last 4.3 beta, we expect the final release to drop support for the iPhone 3G and the 2nd-gen Touch. In the end, we’ve ended up with 31 months of software support for the iPhone 3G.