Rumour Mill – iOS 4.3 for iPad and iPhone

Apple's rumour tap is flowing free – here's the latest juice on iOS 4.3

It may be the least exciting of the Apple rumours, but the iOS update will affect older devices as well as yet-to-be-released iDevices and it also forms the basis of some of our hardware rumours (coming soon). It’s also less of a rumour, since the dev build is already out and is unlikely to change significantly before the public version rolls out. Here’s what we’re expecting (probably in March):

Find My Friends

We imagine this new functionality will be akin to Google’s free Latitude app that lets you see your friends on a map. It’ll probably only be available to MobileMe account holders, and Apple will probably claim to have invented it. Nothing new there, then.

iPad orientation lock

The iPad’s side-mounted switch used to be a screen orientation lock. Then Apple decided to align it with the iPhone and turn it into a mute switch. The result: grumpy iPad owners. The fix: put it back. There’ll be a switch to choose between orientation and mute hidden away in the settings.

AirPlay video support

Not massively exciting yet – particularly if you don’t have any AirPlay-enabled toys – but it looks like Apple is extending AirPlay video support to third-party apps. In case you missed our 2011 tech trends piece, we are going to be hearing a lot about AirPlay this year.

Wi-Fi hotspotting

Verizon’s iPhone has broken a few stories Stateside this week, not least with regard to its ability to become a personal hotspot. Apple’s playing catch-up to Android Froyo here, but we’ve no complaints about leaving our 3G dongles at home in future. The networks, unfortunately, may have other ideas.

New multitouch gestures

We’re not sure if these’ll hit the iPhone, but it certainly looks like iPadders will be prodding with more fingers post-iOS 4.3. The new gestures include four- and five-finger moves to navigate between apps or return to the home screen.