Apple releases iOS 4.3 beta – iPad to lose home button

13 Jan 2011

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As Apple reveals the iOS 4.3 beta to developers along with Apple TV software beta, it has been suggested that the company is considering removing the home button on the next generation of iPad and iPhone devices.

Last night, Apple released iOS 4.3 beta to developers at the iOS Dev Center for iOS devices and the second-generation Apple TV.

The new beta – build number 8F5148b – supports the iPad, the iPhone 4 and 3GS and third and fourth-generation iPod touch devices.

New features include finger gestures for the iPad, swipe up to reveal a multi-tasking tray and swipe left to switch apps.

Bye-bye home button

As the new beta emerged, rumours also began to emerge that the reason Apple added multi-touch gestures for the iPad in the latest beta is because the next version of the iPad won’t feature a home button and this change could also feature in future versions of the iPhone.

It has also been suggested that Apple’s photo application Photo Booth will appear on the next iPad.

Apple employees are understood to be testing devices that have no buttons and it was an express wish of Apple CEO Steve Jobs not to have a single button on the iPhone in the first place.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com