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back to article Apple pulls posted pulled iPhone modem app

The strange case of Netshare, the application that turns the iPhone into a modem - whenever it exists - became stranger still over the weekend, when it appeared and disappeared for a second time in the iPhone App Store. Apple and AT&T (widely assumed to be the bad guy here) remained tight-lipped, leaving the world trying to …

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Pity

I'd love to be able to use an app like Netshare but I can well understand why the networks won't allow tethering on an unlimited iPhone data plan as there's scope for using vastly more data from a desktop or laptop computer. It's a bit like going to an "all you can eat" buffet and expecting to be allowed to carry away heaps of food in a doggy bag by claiming "I paid for it, I should be able to take as much as I want".

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Anonymous Coward

tis one of the lord Jobs commandments

Though shalt not do anything we don't allow you to

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Anonymous Coward

How abbout writing articles that are easy to read?

That'd be a novel idea.

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Their Loss

We have some mondo kewl stuff we could do if we could get the iPhone to act as an ad hoc.

VERY cool stuff.

I hope their AT&T buddies are worth it.

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Dead Vulture

Fanbois deserve it!

TOLD YOU SO!

Bloody Bird bcos it also died of cynicism.

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Paris Hilton

"who're"

No such contraction in either of the popular forms of the English language John, unless you meant something entirely different. I don't normally comment on typos, but I suspect this was intentional.

Good article though, and the hobbled Bluetooth really grinds my gears too!

Paris, because "who're" might be in her Blackberry dictionary.

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It's all about the experience

Apple's problem with the iPhone is that they treat it like one of their Macs - a fixed spec with authorised upgrades.

Apple don't want iPhone users to have the sort of freedom that regular Bluetooth support provides. Some might argue that the userbase is better off for it, and I'm sure plenty of apologists will point out that Bluetooth is "insecure", or some other contrived excuse to explain away the unjustifiable crippling.

"Users can't brick their phones if they don't have filesystem access". True, but when has filesystem access ever allowed a user to brick their phones? Files marked as "system" is nothing new, I have full access to the "C" drive on my Nokia N95 - and try as I might I can't do anything that would irreparably damage it. The worst I could do in fact would be to wipe or otherwise corrupt the system settings and end up returning the phone to factory spec.

On the flip side of course if you stop users from being able to do things like this at all then it means less support queries. Again, is Nokia inundated with people who keep factory resetting their phones over and over? I doubt it. Therein lies the rub - Apple treats its users like children who simply cannot be given the keys to the kingdom lest they inevitably end up bricking their hardware. This is a false economy though - security through obscurity - a secure device should stand up to full access to the filesystem and implement appropriate safeguards to stop people from doing bad things inadvertently. Nokia manage it, as do Symbian, Microsoft (Windows Mobile) et al - so why can't Apple?

The scary part about things like this is how people rationalise their freedom being taken away so easily, "Apple knows whats best" is a common attitude it seems. That notion scares me. Whilst I can appreciate companies denying access for the good of the user, or to protect trademarks, or whatever, but denying access just because it doesn't fit in with a business model - and for no other justifiable reason - is not good. The irony of course is that often the same people who talk about DRM taking away peoples freedom to do what they choose with things they've legitimately bought wlil defend Apple to the death seemingly only because Apple has a "feel good" aura about it.

Apple is in my mind at least just as crafty and conniving as any of the "usual suspects" like Micro$oft (lol), Sony, RIAA, MPAA et al - the only difference is the Apple PR machine and the legion of cultists have managed to achieve what the others can only dream of: imposing draconian restrictions on their customer base and leaving them smiling.

(I own a MacBook Pro and - soon - an iPhone, before anyone chimes in about anti-Apple attitude. The difference is I see the devices (and Apple) for what they are rather than as life-changing products)

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: "who're"

Deliberate. I was doing colloquial - humour me.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: How abbout writing articles that are easy to read?

http://www.beanotown.com/

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Jobs Halo

Apples actions probably prompted by networks...

I would have said that Apple would have borked the bluetooth stack simply so that the networks didnt have to deal with people using their 'unlimited' connections 'too much'.

I would almost have guaranteed it was a direct and non-negotiable demand from the networks before they would carry the phone, so it seems a little odd to lay the fault at apples door. It would after all be in their interests to have a phone which worked as a mobile modem for you mac as well, but they had already pushed the networks for 'unlimited' net useage, so something had to give somewhere...

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Bronze badge

How about Sat Nav data?

I'd like it to work with the traffic reports on my in car Sat Nav.

Having to change phones every time I want to use the sat nav is a real pain, it's why my XDA sits unloved in a pile of Junk.

And with UK Police paranoia about touching mobiles in your car who wants to use the Phone's Sat Nav.

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Go

Don't see why this would be an issue in the UK

Orange for example have an 'unlimited' (read 500Mb fair use limit) data deal on some of their plans and other phones make it easy to connect to the web from a laptop. Nokia PC suite has a specific application to do it!

Can't really see why O2 would be going nuts over this...

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VAT

>> where it could be purchased for £5.99 ($9.99 US, standard crap deal, don't get us started).

The UK iTunes store shows VAT on the price right? So what's the problem? You're paying less for songs than I am. Apple isn't responsible for paying your VAT, and Britons really do need to learn how to add sales tax to American prices.

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Dead Vulture

And the winner is...

All things I-phone get the Rat's Ass Award.

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Stop

£5.99 is close enough to $9.99 plus VAT

Going by today's exchange rate, $9.99 is £5.07.

£5.07 plus VAT is £5.96, which is close enough not to worry about.

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borked bluetooth

I've always been surprised how easy it has been to get a variety of normal phones to act as a bluetooth modem for my laptop while out and about, mainly nokias and sony ericssons. Had i bought an Iphone, i would have assumed the same functionality was there... shame on Apple. Time and again though we're shown Apple do things their own way, and people for the most part don't care.

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not iPhone, but...

SFR play similar tricks in France. They offer subscriptions with "unlimited" 3G use, but on investigation that's only unlimited from the handset itself, which uses an access point (APN) named "wapsfr" and handles HTTP(S) traffic only. The software that handles it also checks the browser's ID string, and only plays if it's a mobile browser. Using the APN "websfr" has no such restrictions, and allows the phone to be used freely as a modem, but SFR didn't originally point out that such use falls entirely outside the 'unlimited' subscription, on a pay-per-MB basis.

After numerous complaints from people with 1000+euro monthly bills, SFR now blocks "websfr" by default, you have to phone and ask for it to be enabled, at which point you get a lecture on the issue.

Of course there is no shortage of hacks on the web which will allow the use of a browser like Firefox with a changed ID string and a suitable tunnel or VPN through a proxy to bypass all that...

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check the whole deal

Apple has given iPhone owners the real internet, on an unlimited data contract in an unmatched package. That's what's on offer. It's not offered as a cellular modem contract.

If you want a different product, just buy it; don't whinge that Apple doesn't include it free.

Anyway, can't you tunnel through a server hosted on your laptop which runs an ad-hoc WiFI network, a Mobile Safari web app, and a fixed server on the internet hosting a suitable proxy service? (i.e. no dedicated app required on the phone)

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Flame

To Our American Friends

when your paying the best part of $9 for a gallon of petrol you can tell us to stop bitching about getting ripped off.

We had an Empire once don't you know.

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Flame

I managed to get it before it vanished.

I spotted it's reappearance on the iTunes store the other day and bought it anticipating it vanishing again. Having said that I've not actually gotten around to testing it yet but I've read it works.

I will wager that Nullriver submitted it again to iTunes hence the second appearance.

For me, using my 3G phone as emergency net access for my laptop is a killer app and was a major negative against the iPhone - one can of course jailbreak the phone, but should we really have to go to such lengths to achieve something that almost every other handset has been able to do for years? Windows Mobile 6 handles it the best with Bluetooth PAN networking - works beautifully with OSX - you simply pair, then from the Bluetooth menu simply 'join network on xxxx' where xxxx is your phone's name. Your Mac gets a DHCP assigned IP from the phone, and from there instant internet with no messing around with scripts like what used to happen.

Also one would also be forgiven for assuming that one would simply be able to sync one's iPhone with one's Mac over Bluetooth using iSync, with them all being manufactured and written by Apple and everything but nooooo we have to mess around with stupid cables.

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Pirate

hahaha

Mental picture:

Jobs on golden throne petting white pussy, "Break their Bluetooth, I'm the Boss!"

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Jobs Horns

Surprised nobody has used it yet...

This article is what this icon was designed for!

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Jobs Horns

Anybody wonder

how it is possible that the worlds most popular music player cannot transmit stereo audio over bluetooth ? How stupid is that !

i guess they want us to wear those stupid white earbuds.. The cybermen are coming ! I wish we could gete some company to provide a dalek ...

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All temporay till Internet 3, which is GPS based.

in a world where bandwidth is infinite, a wi-fi reciever just sucks 200 megs or so out of the air.

All the routers help each other out.

There is no "backbone" or central tower to attack or charge for.

its not free, its user owned.

Think Nettorrent in RF space. With plenty of store/forward nodes so you can ger the latest movie in ten mins or so. (drm'd of course.)

no paris... its just... not.. right...

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Jobs Horns

@ AC writing the golden throne.

Makes me wonder if big iCon actually also says thing like i want a million billion bajilion dollars. eh that's not a real number steve ...

wwww.zipit.com

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Ash

Yet another example of...

... The Streisand Effect.

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Paris Hilton

Blackberry 8120s suck the same

iPhones aren't the only 'smartphone' hit with the stupidstick. The Blackberry 8120 is dog meat in an Olympian way -- bluetooth-enabled, but not with the Mac for syncing. Smartphones -- heh, there's a concept stillborn.

Paris, because only she can share over bluetooth. (and share, and share...)

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Pirate

Hey boy - ya'll from Tejas?

"so they're agin anything"

Ya'll sound like y're from Dallas. What ya doin bidness in Ingyland fur?

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third biggest strike against the iphone

I use my phone to put my laptop on the net all the time- in fact I'm posting this comment that way now. The lack of this feature on the iPhone is one of the biggest reasons I can't consider one as my next handset.

I pay an extra monthly fee for this service, so it's not as if I'm demanding something for nothing- I love having an option that falls between the costs and luggage space of a dedicated data transceiver and the complete lack of mobile tethered internet service. My Macbook and my sony ericsson flip have performed beautifully in this regard for some years now, and I'm actively looking for a 3G update because well... it's time.

Apparently iPhone sales are already good enough- no need to sweeten the deal with this feature. Our loss.

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Paris Hilton

You want to use the iPhone to do what?

O2's HSDPA network for data use outside of the iPhone? Thats a laugh! First you'll have to find a spot where O2 actually deliver 3G/HSDPA (their coverage map is an out and out lie), then you may be lucky to draw down 500Kbps on a good day and when there is an "R" in the month.

Look, if you really want mobile data go to any other network at all, seriously, anyone other than O2.

The iPhone does its stuff fine for what it is and the network that currently carries it. Really, it does everything that it says it should on the tin - which is more than can be said for some other devices. Should it ever appear on any of the other UK network providers then some of the [usual anti-Apple] bitching and moaning above may be valid.

And on that last note, I really wish you lot would give it up. You're all like a stuck record. Whine, bitch, moan, whine. Get a life, if you don't like the iPhone no way, no how, fine, just give up your incessant moaning. Its here, its real, it exists, now deal with it. Pfffft!

Paris, 'cos she doesn't whinge and whine like you lot.

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Flame

I don't know why operators are like that

I live in scandinavia and to be honest I have had gigs of data / month, I use my phone a a 3G modem all the time, so do a lot of my friends and noone ever complained. Nokia's PC Suit even has a button to easily connect to the internet via your phone.

There shouldnt be any restrictions period. At least here "all you can eat data" means just that...It's a godsend when my DSL goes down (which happens once a year but still) or when I am at the summer cottage relaxing bu t no internet except my phone.

These tethering restrictions suck!

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Excuse me?

Scripts? Incantations? I though everything Apple sold 'just worked'?

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@sleepy

"Apple has given iPhone owners the real internet, on an unlimited data contract in an unmatched package. That's what's on offer. It's not offered as a cellular modem contract."

You are of course correct that it isn't sold or intended for use as a Modem. Why you had to stick some rabid fanboyism on the front though I had no idea. The iPhone has plenty of strengths, making up new ones or pretending it is the second coming just makes you look like an ass.

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Unhappy

bluetooth is worse on any phone with 2.0 firmware.

The new firmware has made the bluetooth worse than the last version.

90% of all cars with built in bluetooth (BMW iDrive, Merc Command, Audi,Toyata) which were made before 2008 have stopped working.

Apple know of the problem so do BMW but have kept it very quite.

We have half dozen people who use their iphones with their cars bluetooth in our company , but after upgarading the firmware on all of them none of them work and they are just useless.

Check out the following link for more info.http://blog.scoopz.com/2008/07/11/iphone-20-update-breaks-bmw-idrive-contactaddress-book-syncing/#comment-3690

I love Apple but sometimes they just shoot themselves in the foot!

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Jobs Horns

no use bitching now

Look, you guys still bought iPhones despite the ludicrous pricing and possibly illegal distribution restrictions... if you had any sense you would've voted with your feet and not bought one until Apple conceded and released the phone in a normal way.

I have a Tmobile contract which is considerably better value than the stupid iphone one, and I can happily use my phone as a modem... oh BTW, my fair use policy is 3.5gb a month.

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