Apple Everywhere

With iOS 4.3, I Don't Need to Upgrade to an iPad 2 (Yet)

- 2011.03.15 - Tip Jar

The day the iPad 2 was unveiled to the world, many people asked me if I was going to buy one.

Up to that point, I had been completely opposed to buying one - my iPad was good enough for me. After seeing the iPad 2, however, I budged a little. My stance on the iPad 2 is "maybe I'll buy one, but not right away."

Why hold off on buying one? Well, other than the obvious issues of financial prudence, early model glitches, and the inevitable "fanboy" label that follows, I have another important reason to hold off: iOS 4.3.

What?

You heard me: iOS 4.3 is the reason I'm not getting a new iPad yet, but it's not because I'm suspicious of the new update - it's because I love it!

From iOS version 3.2 through 4.2.1, my iPad has suffered from a malfunctioning home button. I've been planning to send it to PowerBook Medic for some time, but I use it so often that I haven't been able to part with it. With iOS 4.3, the home button has been working perfectly almost every time I press it (the exceptions being some rare instances when I'm using Friendly Plus for Facebook). My baby is back!

Another major improvement iOS 4.3 has added is in the area of speed. I'm not quite sure what Apple did here, but the whole OS just feels "zippier" than its predecessors. Many apps that have hung or crashed in the past now run with free abandon on my unbloated tablet. Needless to say, I'm very pleased.

iTunes and iPad

The iPod app is one of the most visible examples of the speed boost - instead of waiting ten seconds for the app to switch orientations, it now takes mere moments. Album art pops right up, and the whole app opens and closes very quickly.

However, Home Sharing is my favorite new update - with home sharing, I can now watch videos on my iPad without needing to store them in the already cramped 16 GB flash memory. Even streamed through my old Wireless-G AirPort Extreme Hub, there is no lag when pausing, playing, fast forwarding, or rewinding.

I'm not sure if this is just me or not, but the iPad's speakers seem louder - with iOS 4.2.1 I could barely hear them in a crowded room, but now they're just as loud as when I first bought my iPad.

Orientation Lock

At last, I can flip a switch to lock the orientation again. Now that I'm no longer performing in the pep band, the mute switch really doesn't matter. A friend of mine (who happens to own the exact same 16 GB WiFi iPad I do) disagrees, however. He thinks the mute switch is more helpful than the orientation lock.

This is exactly why it was a good call for Apple to make the mute/orientation lock setting user changeable. Great work!

Safari

Even Safari feels faster than before, although this was something that was touted during the iPad 2 event.

Before iOS 4.3, Safari would become slow when I had three or four pages open. Now I can go all the way up to eight before I notice any serious lag. Webpages open much faster, and the whole experience of surfing the Web on a touchscreen has become mystical again.

Wrap-up

I must say, for an incremental update, iOS 4.3 feels much lighter, yet more solid than any of its predecessors. It's fast, stable, and has solved several issues I've had with my iPad.

If you haven't updated your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch yet, do it now. You won't be disappointed. LEM

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Austin Leeds is a Mac and iPad user - and a college student in Iowa.

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