I put off installing the iOS 4.3GM due to the usual mix of lack of time to do the usual massive Xcode download and my “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” habits, but I must say I’m quite enjoying the public release so far.
Media features and performance improvements aside, there are two truly game-changing features on the 4.3 public release that I’m going to use daily on my iPad - multitasking gestures and personal hotspot.
I’m still a little bit miffed that Apple decided to restrict multitasking gestures to the developer community, given that they are so incredibly useful for a bunch of scenarios that range from drafting text while looking up references (just as I am doing now) to checking your calendar while replying to an e-mail (like I try to do every single day).
Like I wrote earlier, they make a lot more sense than trying to hit a button that may not be always on the same side, and are vastly more intuitive than the clumsy button tapping we’ve had to do so far for quick switching between two apps.
Plus, like Lukas so cogently put it, human and computer multitasking aren’t a one-to-one mapping - and I consider the “standard” app switching behavior on iOS to be more along the lines of “half-assed tasking” than monotasking…
Anyway, on to Personal Hotspot. Aftere upgrading my iPhone 3GS, as well, it was with nothing short of glee that I discoved that I could tether my iPad to it via Bluetooth - yes, that’s right, you can finally tether your iPad to PAN servers, and pairing with a 3GS is trivial - you don’t need an iPhone 4.
I’ve been carrying a Samsung Wave since September or so and found it to be very handy as a pocket router, but it’s annoying to carry an extra charger and an especially counter-intuitive piece of gear along with the iPad (even considering I have a couple of spare batteries for the Samsung), so my guess is that I’ll be decomissioning it soon and moving its SIM card to a USB dongle for use with my MacBook Pro.
At the end of that piece on the Wave I wrote:
… I can’t wait for Apple to come to their senses and give us iPhone-iPad tethering.
Well, it took them a bit, but they delivered. Let’s hope that multitasking gestures become a standard feature soon, too.