iPhone 5 to pack same A5 processor as iPad 2, iOS 4.3 update hints

Apple's iPhone 5 may well include the same A5 processor as the iPad 2, according to code references buried in the new iOS 4.3 update, which went live last night for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

The iPad 2's A5 processor is one of its key selling points, upping the grunt within Apple's tablet to handle richer games and processor-intensive apps. Now it seems the iPhone 5 may be shipping with the A5 too, judging by references buried in the code for the iOS 4.3 software update. Which, by the way, was released last night.

The iClarified blog has the details, based on the findings of a couple of iOS developers digging around in the iOS 4.3 code. We'll spare you the most head-spinningly technical details, other than to say the A5 processor appears to be known as S5L8940 in the code, and there's a reference to the iPhone 5 running on it.

It would make sense for the iPhone 5 to use the A5 processor, to keep pace with the iPad 2 and ensure developers can write apps to run across both devices.

The iPhone 5 is expected to go on sale this summer, by which time there should be a number of apps and games taking advantage of the new processor, following Apple's own GarageBand and PhotoBooth apps.

What about iOS 4.3 though? The official release last night provided a final list of new features for Apple's software update, with some decent improvements.

iTunes Home Sharing enables you to play music and videos from a shared iTunes library on your PC or Mac, while developers can now make use of Apple's AirPlay technology to stream video to big-screen tellies via the Apple TV box.

The Safari Web browser has been given a turbo-boost with Apple's Nitro JavaScript engine -- based on our early surfing this morning, it's definably faster.

You can also now pump 720p HD video out to a larger screen from the iPhone 4 , iPad and fourth-gen iPod touch , although only if you have an Apple Digital AV Adaptor. The iPad's side-switch can now also be toggled between being an orientation lock or a mute button.

The Personal Hotspot Wi-Fi sharing feature is also enabled in iOS 4.3, meaning you can share your iPhone's 3G connection with up to five other devices -- although that's a maximum of three via Wi-Fi, with others having to connect via Bluetooth or USB.

Be warned: you may need to contact your operator before Personal Hotspot will work. Our iPhone 4 is on O2, and required us to sign up for a £7.50 Tethering and Browsing Bolt-On that gives 500MB of data a month, before we could use it. We'll update this story today with other UK operators' requirements (if any).

iOS 4.3 also promises new features for Apple's Ping music social network, including push notifications for comments and follow requests, and the ability to Post and Like songs from your Now Playing screen, rather than only from the iTunes Store. That said, we're damned if we can find a post-to-Ping option on the Now Playing screen on iPhone or iPad, so perhaps that feature didn't quite make it in.

 

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