A new rumor surfacing online pegs February 14 as the release date for Apple's iOS 4.3, the newest update for iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches.
MacStories has reported from a "reliable source" that iOS 4.3 will be available on February 14 at 10 a.m. PT.
Daring Fireball's John Gruber conjectured in his review of the Verizon iPhone that an iOS 4.3 release would make sense in the next two weeks. Verizon would have a launch and time to market its iPhone as the only one with the personal hot-spot feature (widely expected to be included for all iPhones with the iOS 4.3 update) and in-app subscription and payment APIs will be released after the initial launch of Rupert Murdoch's iPad-only The Daily news source. Gruber writes:
At some point in the next two weeks or so, Apple holds an announcement regarding in-app subscription APIs (and, I suspect, given this week's news regarding in-app payments for third-party bookstores, other in-app purchasing changes). At this point, Apple releases a new version of iOS with support for in-app subscription purchasing and the Wi-Fi hot-spot feature. I wouldn't even be surprised if Apple releases that iOS update prior to February 10, the date the iPhone 4 is slated to arrive in Verizon customers' hands.
Other rumors have suggested that the iPad 2 announcement would be included in a press event announcing iOS 4.3, though many believe that will not be the case. At this point, there does not appear to be any strong evidence that the iPad 2 is ready for consumers.
iOS 4.3 will include several new features for consumers, but also some slick new toys for developers to add to their apps. At the top of the list is AirPlay functionality APIs for third-party apps, full-screen banners for iAds, and streaming statistics for live, HTTP-streaming video.
My advice? Calm your excitement for iOS 4.3 and don't forget roses, chocolates, a card, and a fancy dinner reservation for your significant other this Valentine's Day. Remember, if the update does come, it'll be there on Tuesday.
Will we see an iOS 4.3, an iPad 2, both, or nothing on Valentine's Day? Let me know your opinion in the comments!