Updating An iPad To iOS 4.3

Apple has released version 4.3 of iOS for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, and I upgraded my iPad this evening. The download and installation of the update went very smoothly, though it did take about 20 minutes. After my iPad rebooted I went into the About section of the General Settings and confirmed that version 4.3, build 8F190 was installed.

This version of iOS does not add a ton of new features, but the two that I was anxious to get were the update to the iPad Side Switch and iTunes Home Sharing. The iPad Side Switch update restores the side switch’s ability to lock the screen rotation, which was changed in iOS 4.2 to Mute. To configure the Side Switch setting, open the General Settings, and scroll down until you see the option shown in the screenshot.

iTunes Home Sharing provides the ability to stream music and video in an iTunes Library on a Mac or Windows PC to an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad over a WiFi network. To use it, you first have to enable it in iTunes, and on my Mac there was an option for Home Sharing in the Library pane that I clicked and then entered my Apple userid and password. You will also find the option for Home Sharing in the iTunes Preferences. Next, you need to enter the same userid and password in the settings on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch. Open Settings, select iPod, and enter your ID and password.

To use Home Sharing to play music on your iPad, open the iPod app and tap Library, and then tap the name of the Shared Library that you just configured on your PC. You can browse through your music, including playlists, podcasts, and audibooks. Tap the name of a song and it starts playing, with the album art displaying on the screen. In my experience streaming was very smooth throughout my house, even in spots where I had only one bar of WiFi signal.

To stream video on your iPad, open the Videos app, and select your library on the Shared screen. You will then see all of the videos, including movies and TV programs purchased from iTunes, that are on your PC. Again, I found video playback to be very smooth over my home WiFi network.