The latest iteration of iOS software for iPhone and iPad has been unveiled, offering a glimpse into the potential design changes for Apple’s forthcoming devices. The release of iOS 4.3 to developers hints at a button-less design for the rumored iPad 2 and iPhone 5, or their eventual titles. This software update introduces innovative multi-touch gestures such as swiping for multitasking and app switching, along with pinching to access the home screen.

The implementation of multi-touch gestures in iOS 4.3 indicates a departure from the traditional physical button on Apple’s devices, potentially leading to a more streamlined design with reduced bezels. Speculation suggests the possibility of larger screens and additional features like a second connector for landscape docking based on recent patents.

Notable features in iOS 4.3 include ‘Find My Friends,’ a social enhancement of the existing ‘Find My iPhone’ functionality, as well as a revamped settings menu, App Store improvements, and a new font named ‘Noteworthy.’ However, the update discontinues support for the aging iPhone 3G, limiting compatibility to newer devices like iPhone 4, iPad, and iPod touch from the second generation onwards.

Users will also have the flexibility to customize the side switch on their iPads, choosing between a mute switch or an orientation lock based on personal preference. Anticipated release timelines suggest iOS 4.3 may debut alongside the Verizon iPhone 4 in the US, with the iPad 2 potentially launching in April.

For a visual comparison with other tablets, interested readers can explore our roundup of the best devices showcased at CES 2011. Stay informed and stay tuned for the latest updates on Apple’s evolving product lineup.