Think Apple fans will believe anything CEO Steve Jobs says? Think again. Jobs announced last week that the iOS 4.3 software update would be made available on 11 March, yet yesterday saw people around the world frantically hammering the 'Check for Update' button in iTunes around 6pm GMT, after rumours that the update was arriving three days early. It didn't.
Boy Genius Report started the fire, with a source claiming that iOS 4.3 was coming at 10am Pacific Time yesterday -- 6pm here in the UK. Come the hour, a search for iOS 4.3 on Twitter turned up thousands of tweets from people eager to get their hands on the new software.
Roll on Friday then, right? Maybe not. Veteran Apple-watcher Jim Dalrymple, from tech site The Loop, reckons the update will emerge from Apple's servers tonight. "The speculation of iOS coming early seems to be solid," he wrote last night. "It's just the day that's off. If I were sitting waiting for iOS 4.3 to hit, I'd be ready tomorrow."
Get set for more excitement around 6pm tonight, then. Apple is so careful about the information it releases publicly, we're surprised at the widespread assumption that the 11 March date will turn out to be wrong. Then again, if the software is ready, why not? iOS developers got their hands on the 'gold master' (final) version of the update last Thursday.
It's not surprising that people are keen to get their hands on iOS 4.3. Its big new feature is Personal Hotspot, which lets an iPhone share its connection with other devices by creating a local Wi-Fi network -- in the same way that Android smart phones and Mi-Fi mobile broadband gizmos already do.
iOS 4.3 also bumps up the speed of Safari Web browsing, lets apps stream video to big screens via Apple's AirPlay technology, and has a feature called iTunes Home Sharing to let you access the music stored on your PC or Mac when within range.
Want more? You may not have long to wait until Apple unveils iOS 5. German site Macerkopf is reporting that the company will hold an event in early April to show off the next-generation version of its software, including a new notifications system.