iOS 4.3 touches down – two days early

iOS 4.3 touches down – two days earlyAfter a false start the other night, Apple's next version of iOS – version 4.3 in case you'd lost count – is now officially available to download from iTunes.

And while it's not quite as early as we thought it was going to be, last night's US launch means it still arrives a full two days ahead of schedule. We imagine that last part makes for painful reading for you WinPho types waiting for your copy and paste.

We were expecting iOS 4.3 to launch alongside the new iPad in the US tomorrow, but Apple's managed to get everything wrapped up ahead of time, and so iDevice users will have had a nice shiny iTunes notification informing them of a new version of iOS when they woke up this morning.

So what does hitting that Download and Update link give you? Let's take a quick run through the major new features:

Wi-Fi hotspots: yip, that's right. Your iPhone 4 can now fling data around to as many as five other devices, so long as no more than three of them are connecting via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and a maximum of one via USB.

AirPlay video streaming: it's AirPlay, but taken to the next level. Now you can wirelessly stream video from the Photos app, including iTunes previews and third-party Apple TV content. You can also now stream slideshows complete with Apple TV transitions.

iTunes Home Sharing: you can now access the iTunes library on your home Mac or PC via Wi-Fi from any iOS 4.3-equipped iDevice within range.

Better JavaScript performance: that means faster Safari. Which is good news.

There's more besides, as you'll no doubt discover once you've downloaded iOS 4.3. The only downside is that the download is a hefty 669.8MB. For more info, head over to Apple's Support pages.

Read more about: Apple iPhone 3GSApple iPhone 4iOS

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