While you have to wait until Friday to pick up an iPad 2 in the US, you can download iOS 4.3 for your original iPad right now.

Apple has released the newest version of its iOS platform for first-generation iPad devices. Syncing your iPad with iTunes prompts the download when using a US account.

iOS 4.3 introduces a number of minor tweaks and additions specific to iPad: improvements to AirPlay, an option to configure the switch on the side of the device to either mute or change the screen orientation, and software to support the newly added iPad 2 cameras.

Obviously, the latter has no impact on the performance of original iPad devices, which don't have any cameras.

It'll be another two days before iPad 2 goes on sale in the US, at which point the camera features lurking deep within iOS 4.3 can be utilised. FaceTime, general photo-taking, and toy app Photo Booth are offered.

The update also supports iPhone 4, adding the ability to create a personal hotspot if your mobile carrier offers tethering.

iOS 4.3 is now available via iTunes in the US; release in the UK and other territories is expected over the next few days.