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I was reading up on the update and it seems that most changes are for either iPad2 or iPhone 4 (e.g. the personal hotspot).

Is there anything in this update for the iPhone 3GS? Any performance improvements? Any reason to install it?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Personal Hotspot (using bluetooth or USB, but not WiFi).

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This was in iOS 4.2 and before too (not entirely sure when it first appeared), but with a different name and better hidden. Probably dependent on the carrier. At least I've used it several times before – PerfectlyNormal Mar 10 '11 at 13:00
Non-jailbroken? I've used various tetherings before but this is the first time I've been able to use it as an Access Point. – mockman Mar 10 '11 at 14:48
yeah, not jailbroken. No WiFi on 3GS, but Bluetooth and USB – PerfectlyNormal Mar 10 '11 at 15:47
@PerfectlyNormal - Interesting. I may try to see if I can find an non-upgraded phone to experiment with. – mockman Mar 11 '11 at 1:15

Major javascript performance upgrade (over twice as fast), airplay in 3rd party applications, streaming music from iTunes through home sharing.

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I just updated to 4.3.1 yesterday and so far I'm not impressed. My phone is jailbroken though so I already have tethering with MyWi (side note, MyWi On Demand is totally worth the $25 if you have a jailbroken iPod or non-3G iPad). The multi-tasking gestures are pretty cool once you go through the hassle of re-enabling them.

The home sharing is pretty cool, but requires iTunes to be open. You can use the free Audiogalaxy app to do the same thing without iTunes being open on 4.2 and other iOS versions.

Safari does seem to be a little quicker and the phone itself doesn't seem any slower, so unless you care about an unlock or jailbreak (it is now jailbroken but still annoying to reinstall all your Cydia apps after upgrading), I don't really see any compelling reason to upgrade or stay on 4.2 unless you need one of the new features and can't find an acceptable work-around or third-party solution.

If you like messing with your phone, do it but you're not missing out on anything spectacular not in 4.2.1.

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