Those are probably the biggest functional changes, but there are some smaller things of note, most of which are best demonstrated with screenshots.

A few of the more user-facing: a new Noteworthy font in Notes app joins Helvetica and Marker Felt:

The Location Services menu has been moved to the top level of the Settings menu, giving you access to all of your Location Services-enabled apps:

The iPad’s switch, turned into a mute button in iOS 4.2, can once again be used as an orientation lock.

If you set the switch to work as an orientation lock, you can now find a mute button in the multitasking bar where the software orientation lock used to live:

And, of course, there’s a slew of even smaller changes: users can now delete an app which is currently downloading instead of having to wait until it finishes downloading, the iPhone now vibrates twice for text messages, and there are plenty of bugfixes that you can read about in the release notes.

Still MIA is an improved implementation of the AirPrint feature, introduced in iOS 4.2, which was originally intended to allow iOS users to print to any printer shared via iTunes by a PC or Mac. This feature was scaled back at the eleventh hour to support only direct printing to a handful of mostly-new printers built to support the feature. Workarounds exist to get it working with any printer, but official support for any ol’ printer has never materialized, and Apple has never offered much of an explanation.

Developers and/or tinkerers can also use XCode to unlock some iPad touch gestures that may be candidates for inclusion in the next iOS. These gestures use four or five finger swipes to reduce the number of times you have to quit what you’re doing to poke at the Home button: you can pinch to get to the home screen, you can swipe upward to see the multitasking bar, and you can swipe left or right to navigate between open apps.

Buried or not, these gestures could tell us something about possibilities for iOS 5: These functions look to enhance the existing iOS multitasking experience, but not necessarily to replace it with something else. It’s possible that Apple will look at Android and make some UI changes based on what Honeycomb does well, but if these gestures can be taken as an indication of things to come, we may not see any iOS UI overhauls when iOS 5 is unveiled later this year.

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  • Stuka87 - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - link

    These things are all great, but what I *REALLY* want is a "Mark all items read" inside mail. I get my mail in several locations, so I don't always need to read them on my phone. But to clear out the count, I have to go and select each one, let it load, then move on to the next.

    But, maybe in iOS5!
  • Spoelie - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - link

    Use IMAP instead of POP?
  • aguilpa1 - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - link

    Why else would they cut support to devices so quickly and release the ipad 2 so quickly behind the heels of the ipad 1? They see so many other manufactures working on dual core and even quad core devices that easily mimic or exceed the performance standards of their own devices and they have no choice. The problem is when you start pushing your development cycles up to try and stay relevant you risk pissing off the very people that support them. I have only one apple device which I bought against my better judgement (iphone 3G) and when they released the iOS that literally crippled my device I saw what they were doing. Upgrade to our new devices or we will break or make your old one useless. That is the one and only apple device I will ever purchase.
  • chris1317 - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - link

    Fragmentation :)

    lol it feels good to get some revenge

    Eric Schmidt
  • bplewis24 - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - link

    lol... in deed.
  • strikeback03 - Friday, March 11, 2011 - link

    Yeah, I don't see why the article says this will prevent fragmentation. Users aren't going to get rid of those devices just because they don't support the newest OS version. I'm sure there will be plenty of 2nd gen iPod touches still in use a year from now, not sure how that wouldn't be fragmentation.

    Nevermind that even devices with the same OS version don't necessarily have the same capabilities. There seems to be more fragmentation than reviewers want to admit.
  • solipsism - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    You call one company that doesn’t give away its OS to any and all vendors and who updates their products on a yearly cycle “fragmentation”? Seriously?! Your ass probably bitches about Apple not updating more frequently as soon as some new component gets into a test phase or for not giving iOS away just so it can be fragmented across hundreds of devices that never see an update, unless iDevices that get 2.5-3 years of rich updates.
  • mikael.skytter - Friday, March 11, 2011 - link

    As previously pointed out here, the scores for 3GS in 4.3 seems abit low.
    My friend and I have 3GS phones, he has a 32Gb model and I have the 16 Gb model.

    He got 5333.1 and I received 5479.1

    We had just updated to 4.3 and had no other Safari windows open.
    We also both have alot of applications installed so it´s not a "clean" phone.

    I ran the sunspider benchmark twice yesterday with the 4.2.1 software to compare it to your results. The result were similar. Within ~35 on both runs.

    The other scores, with the 4.3 software have also been re-run and we are 7-800 below you.
    This opens up a question on how this phones were tested.

    Is it possible for you to re-run the 4.3 benchmark on the 3GS phone?
  • philipus - Friday, March 11, 2011 - link

    On my 16GB 3GS 4.3 seems faster. Safari is snappier, but also the OS interface seems perkier. 4.2 seemed a lowpoint on my phone. 4.1 was good. But 4.3 is much better.
  • davidm71 - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    Anyone test battery life improvements if any over previous iOs versions?

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