iOS 4.3 Beta Adds new iPad Gestures, Returns Rotation Lock

Apple released a beta version of iOS 4.3 for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad to developers Wednesday afternoon that includes new multi-touch gestures for the iPad, and also brings back the rotation lock switch thanks to an option that lets users choose the audio mute or rotation function.

The developer release notes state, “You can use four or five fingers to pinch to the Home Screen; swipe up to reveal the multitasking bar; and swipe left or right between apps.”

The developer-only beta also includes personal hotspot support, which lets users share their 3G wireless data connection over Wi-Fi with up to five devices. The feature was introduced during a media event where Verizon announced it would start selling the iPhone 4 in early February.

The beta sports a new FaceTime app icon, support for full-screen iAd banners, and references for several live video effects.

Apple also released a new beta of its Xcode developer tools that includes support for third-party app AirPlay video streaming.

It looks like iOS 4.3 will leave behind even more devices. Support for the second generation iPod touch and the iPhone 3G has been dropped from the update.

Apple hasn’t announced when the update will be officially released, but it seems likely it could roll out around the same time the Verizon iPhone is released on February 10.

[Thanks to Boy Genius Report for the heads up.]