iTunes 10.2 update paves way for iPad 2, iOS 4.3

Apple has put together quite the collection of new iOS-related products for next Friday, March 11. Now it wants to help you prepare with an update to the software at the heart of it all: iTunes.

Following its media event to announce the iPad 2 and iOS 4.3 (as well as iMovie and GarageBand for iPad), Apple also released iTunes 10.2. This minor update adds support for syncing an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running the upcoming iOS 4.3 update.

Another iTunes 10.2 highlight is improved Home Sharing support. This will allow iOS 4.3 users to stream any song, movie, or TV show from a registered iTunes library to an iPhone or iPad. Apple also added a little color back into iTunes's preference pane icons (though, unfortunately, its sidebar icons still lack it). Finally, A new option in the Sharing pane can update the play counts of media played via Home Sharing computers and devices.

iTunes 10.2 is available now in Software Update. iOS 4.3 will arrive for the iPad, the GSM iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and the third- and fourth-generation iPod touch on March 11.

Updated at 2:53pm PST with more details of changes in iTunes 10.2 and to state iPhone 3GS compatibility.

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