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back to article Developer slips tethering into iTunes

An iPhone developer slipped a tethering application onto the iTunes store: getting past Apple's ban on such applications by disguising it as a pocket torch. The app has now been removed, Cupertino having been alerted by reviews that called for a background-running version of the application, but those who paid a dollar for the …

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Jailbreak?

Not sure I get all these elaborate methods to tether stock Iphones. Just jailbreak the phone if you want tethering that bad.

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Jobs Horns

Good app - Bad Jobs

@ME17

Plenty of reasons to want tethering without jailbreaking the phone - invalidating the warranty for a start....

I managed to get it before apple pulled it, and it's great, and unlike the jailbroken tethering solutions, you don't need a helper app on the mac to get it to work (although you do have to diddle with some IP settings.

Great little app, and very sneaky!

I just only hope there's no packet sniffing built into it....

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Coat

Kill switch

"I managed to get it before apple pulled it, and it's great, and unlike the jailbroken tethering solutions, you don't need a helper app on the mac to get it to work (although you do have to diddle with some IP settings."

That's great and all, but just hope that Apple never pulls the kill switch (send the kill packet?) to the phone wirelessly.

The one with the Nokia N97 and HTC TyTN in the pocket. Now _those_ are great phones, with legal tethering!

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FAIL

Thanks, but no thanks.

My HTC comes with built in Tethering. Even if it didn't there are plenty on the Android marketplace, as we don't have artificial limits imposed in Android land...

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Anonymous Coward

Once again the Android fanbois speak

Android owners just can't let an iPhone related story pass without bashing can they? They must be feeling very insecure.

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18

Overstating the case a bit

if the manufacturer of an android phone wanted to remove built-in tethering, they could. And those apps on the marketplace require being root (i.e. the equivalent of iPhone's jailbreaking)

that being said, they HAVEN'T removed tethering, and it works just fine on my HTC hero... :D

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Bronze badge

Aw diddums

Once again, the poor iPhone fanboi can't take anyone criticising his supposed Jesus phone. It's like a religion, where the only law is Job's Law and anyone else is an unbeliever.

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Jobs Horns

Once again the Apple fanbois speak

As the title says, it must be you that is insecure - YOU, as a user, choose YOUR tools based on what solves YOUR problems best - not based on what some marketing video or droid have told you would be better.

Actually, do tell me what benefit the user get from being denied the possibility of tethering, solely because AT&T want more money for the exact same connection? And how do Apples statement of "We love our users" (from the press conference related to the antenna problems - http://www.iphonedownloadblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/We-Love-Our-Users.jpg) compare with the fact that Apple have supported AT&T on the tethering-issue, by banning applications that introduce tethering without paying the "AT&T Tax"...

And yes, I post anonymously, because fanboys are exceedingly stupid, and the Apple-kind of fanboys seems to become more and more insecure with each quarter that goes by with Apple increasing their share of the market and checkbook.

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Bronze badge

Defensive much?

That is all.

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Troll

See icon

<- You forgot this.

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Happy

Hey, another easy-to-tether smartphone...

Well, if it makes any difference, my Maemo-running N900 is also capable of tethering quite easily, albeit requiring a small (free) app to enable the service. So there you go, not just bashing by Android users, you have Maemo to help out as well ;O)

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Think again.

Google really have done a number on you haven't they?

Android's developer terms and conditions stuff explicitly includes phrasing that lets them *hide* apps from the Android App Store according to the *operator's* preferences.

There's also the same "We reserve the right to refuse any App we damned well please" get-out clause in said terms and conditions that the Apple developers have to agree to.

So, er, yes: you DO have artificial limits imposed in Android land. You just happen to have more phones to run it on.

At least Apple are pretty up-front about their control-freakery.

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Gold badge

So does the iPhone

It has tethering, but you still need the network to allow it.

I somehow think if you're browsing with IE and the request is coming from an iPhone that they will know something isn't right.

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Jobs Halo

Depends on the carrier..

With Fido/Rogers in Canada there isn't an extra fee for tethering, its 100% free with a data plan of 1GB or greater I believe. No extra junk to install either.

Why would Apple care one way or the other? They give carriers the ability to enable/disable it, its the carriers choice to charge. Wasn't there an extra fee for making a Wifi hotspot with some of the newer Android phones on some carriers?

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Headmaster

@Giles

Using Firefox's Agent Switcher plugin I can make it look like I'm using Netscape 1.1 coming from a Commodore 64. Just sayin

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Anonymous Coward

Insecure?

Sigh, my HTC Winmo phone allows me to tether too, it's not just the Android fanbois but the Apple Defence League just don't get it even when it's writ in six foot high blazing letters on their lawn why their drug of choice is bad.

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Think again.

"So, er, yes: you DO have artificial limits imposed in Android land. You just happen to have more phones to run it on."

At least android users don't have to go through google to get their apps on their phone. That's a major limitation of the iphone, but we all know why that's in place - he who holds the keys, can charge for access.

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WTF?

@ Sean Skidmarco Bumgravy

Quote: "At least Apple are pretty up-front about their control-freakery"

Yes, Apple are so open about it that they forbid developers from speaking about the terms of the iPhone developer agreement.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Once again the Android fanbois speak

"Android owners just can't let an iPhone related story pass without bashing can they? They must be feeling very insecure."

Which is also why they downvoted you so harshly. Idiots.

(They'll do the same to me now ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Unlimited

And this is why another reason I wont buy an iPhone. With providers scrapping unlimited data plans the "tethering uses too much bandwidth" excuse holds little water anymore.

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Bronze badge

anything like that for a blackberry?

even better if it worked through BIS

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Silver badge
Unhappy

There's always one

totally brain dead pratt that screws it up for everyone else

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FAIL

This could-have-been-anything trojan exposes the epic fail at the heart of Apple's approval process

This could-have-been-anything trojan exposes the epic fail at the heart of Apple's approval process, which merely takes as input a black-box executable. Anything you can do in iOS (in other words, anything that any of the 200,000 other Jabscreen apps can do) could have been performed by this app as its trojan payload. Apple's approval protects no-one. Android's code-based permission security gives a runtime error if the user has not granted permission for the required action. Install from the Jabscreen App Store and you could be subjected to anything.

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FAIL

@Thanks, but no thanks. #

"My HTC comes with built in Tethering. "

Yep, just like my iPhone 3G does, as delivered by my cellular provider - and your point is?

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Big Brother

The point is

On the HTC, the provider has no say over whether the tethering app is visible or not. I.e. on my TyTN, the Internet Sharing app is always visible, whether the provider supports tethering or not.

On an iPhone, the provider can hide and unhide the app from you remotely.

Big Brother. Isn't it already obvious why?

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Anonymous Coward

Actually, the point is

Until relatively recently, iPhones were sold with "unlimited" data and most other phones were not.

The iPhone is not customised by the carrier, the choice of whether tethering is hidden or visible is not made by the carrier.

But.

The carrier does get a say on whether or not the user has to pay an additional charge to use the phone tethered. This is to allow them to stop people taking the Mickey and using the phone with its unlimited data as their broadband connection.

Clearly, that is not a problem where people have a fixed data package (i.e. almost every other phone).

What this app allowed people to do is bypass that charging mechanism.

Still, it's nice to see people with now knowledge of the device trying to claim superiority of their own device based on a piece of functionality that they believe is missing, even though it isn't.

Someone will be along in a minute to tell us that Android is better because it does SMS, web browsing and e-mail and the iPhone doesn't.

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FAIL

Wooowww!

Tethering AND 3G Videoconferencing! Well, not over 3G YET, but soon. Maybe.

The iPhone's really roaring into the early naughties now!

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Anonymous Coward

Someone has to learn to be quiet..

Specifically the dolt who did the "yay! tethering" comment.

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Flame

Wouldn't try that on Vodafone...

Last time I checked, signing up for tethering isn't just switching on that option on the phone, it also gets you the same data plan as a USB dongle, ie 3GB/month instead of 1GB.

More importantly if you exceed the 3GB you get charged the excess at a similar rate (~£12 for each addition GB).

However on the iPhone, if you go over 1GB, you go into a £2.35/MB charge band so that extra GB will cost you over £2K.

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I'd like to do a study

...on how many complaints directed against Apple products come from actual Apple customers.

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FAIL

Apple is slowly catching up...

Once again another hotly discussed feature which has long been available and in use on other manufacturers handsets. I first stumbled upon 'tethering' on a Nokia handset a couple of years ago, and it was all included in my operators 'free internet' which i am guessing was intended for consumption on the handset rather than a connected PC.

Now I have an HTC and the process is seamless, plus I get a better upstream rate off my mobile network than i do from my ADSL, and i didn't have to 'hack' anything or pay anything extra!

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Used to be?

> used to be a standard feature of smartphones

Current in all bar the iPhone I would say, I think Android even has a wireless hotspot mode built in.

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Silver badge

why the operators want to charge more

If you have a (so called) unlimited phone data plan I can see them saying that you are only paying for on phone data... but if you are paying for a fixed amount of data each month the operator can F.O.A.D. if they think it's fair to charge extra for the same amount of data.

The same for operators that think they should charge extra for VPN data.

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Hmm, but this isn't the iPhone

The iPhone and iOS can do tethering quite fine, it's just an existing feature of the phone. Not for all carriers, though.

This guy was brave! Someone give him a medal. He should publish the source for this tethering app, nicely documented and freely licensed and more developers should add this feature to their apps.

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Gates Halo

WinPhone has had this for ages

Thethering on a WinPhone has been around for ages and with no restrictions from Microsoft. Network operators may have something to say about it in their small print but I've never heard of any network making a big deal about it in Britain. On occasion I even download torrents via my WinPhone's tethering.

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Coat

Agreed

And even better?

Winphones since WinMo 6 actually show up as a USB 10Mbps LAN dongle connected to a router. That means you can fully leverage on the HSDPA's 3.8Mbps connection.

My N97 in comparison shows up as a 460.8kbps modem. No leveraging on HSDPA with it.

Coat, the one with both an N97 and a TyTN in the pocket.

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Bronze badge
Boffin

iPhone works the same

You connect the iPhone to your computer and enable the option, if your provider permits you to do so ... it is the provider, not Apple. The option is there, but providers think they can ripp-off iphone users, which they can, because the phone is the only real smartphone out there ... That is why demand > supply. I have tried Blackberry, HTC and that is just crapware ... admittedly, I have not tried Nokia much, my sister has one and I did not like using it when I tried it, so much so, that I gave up before getting past emailing ... and I read here and there that it is not so good at "browsing the interwebs" ... ;-)

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Coat

Totally Agree . .

I've been tethering for years now (previously on symbian, and for the last couple of years on winmo). My most recent device (HD2) even gives me the wireless hotspot option, so I can leaverage 3G speeds on my laptop and other devices at the same time while the phone is in my pocket. Often used this with friends when a couple of people need to use their laptops.

Whats the point in having an unlimited data package if you can't use it.

I paid for it.

So I should be able to do what ever I damn well please with it.

Same goes for my phone.

I amazes me that with all the restrictions around the iphone, the high price and the various issues that plagues the new device, that people still go out and buy it?

But each to their own, I'm sure they are just as happy with their devices as I am with mine. I just have the advantage of being able to do what I want with my device, rather than "jailbreaking" (Still thik that term sounds stupid) or paying extra for what I have already paid for?

mines the one in the corner with the wirelessly tethered HD2 in the pocket

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Gates Horns

RE: WinPhone has had this for ages

The problem is that you have to use a WinPhone and everything MS makes is unmitigated sh1t.

My old Motorola had tethering. I used it a grand total of, erm , never.

Everywhere I need to access the internet, there's either free WiFi or it's my friend's house...

No Winblows or any nonsense from Redmond involved, thank the gods!

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WTF?

Patriotism to a brand? . .

. . clearly you feel that being patriotic and gunning down all else is the way to go . .

I'd much rather have the best device for me . . I don't care if it runs iOS, Andriod, WinMo or Symbian . . as long as it does what I want.

Right now for me, WinMo ticks all the boxes and Android is destined to be my next mobile OS. iOS is in my eyes still a joke, but it suits many people and thats fine. And don't get me started on the bigger joke that round the corner that is WInPhone 7! could they copy apples failings any better?! NOPE!

Everyone is so opinionated like its the end of the world because its a Microsoft product . .

. . get a life.

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Pint

WinMo . .

I totally agree that the windows mobile platform has seen its days numbered. Its based on the old WinCE and hasn't seen significant changes in the underlying system for years.

However, even in its aged state my (imho) knocks the socks off most other devices at the moment. I have a massive software library dating back years and probably some of the most comprehensive integration with the desktop OS on the market at the moment.

Given that the os was built to run on much slower devices and it now has a 1GHz snapdragon processer at its disposal, lag is practically non-existant. Plus the benfit of true multitasking.

These are my personal opinions and no doubt apple phone user needs may be different from mine. Unlike me they may be happy with:

- No USB/Bluetooth/Wi-fi tethering

- No freedom to choose where to get apps from

- Poor battery life coupled with the lack larger/spare batteries (although not really an issue on the HD2 which happily lasts a couple of days of reasonable usage or a full day heavy usage)

- Lack of customisation options (customisation on winmo is unparalleled on any other mobile os I have experience of)

- Crippled bluetooth

- Owning a phone that is never really feels like you own since the rules are sent down from above and all ye shall follow or else!

- Having to jailbreak the device just to make it your own (and don't say its not necessary, if that was the case why would everyone be doing it)

OK yes a bit of a rant . . but its only my opinion. I'm one of those people that likes to have the option to tinker with my devices and make them work and look the way I want. Those that want an out of the box experience which looks and feels like all the other sheep will no doubt be happy with an iphone.

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Silver badge
Badgers

No tethering? Really?

I used my iphone as a 3g modem for my imac when I went on holiday last year. I know, the imac wasn't that easy to transport, but I had no laptop.

I can't recall if bluetooth or usb was used, I know I tried both and there's a good chance both worked. There was definitely no other internet connectivity around. I definitely remember switching the connection on and off only when needed to make sure OS updates weren't downloaded.

Is this a network-provider dependent thing? I was on Telstra in Oz. They have a 150mb monthly limit so I had to be careful.

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Anonymous Coward

Lack of tethering is not due to Apple's deal with AT&T

There seem to be a lot of people here who don't understand (or don't want to understand) that the lack of tethering is neither a limitation of the phone software or hardware. Apple has disabled tethering in the USA due to their deal with AT&T. Tethering has always worked fine out-of-the-box on my iPhone, and I didn't have to jail-break or install any special application to enable it. The availability of tethering will depend on the country you're in and the teleco you get the phone/contract from. I bought my iPhone in Hong Kong, where you can buy an iPhone contract free and SIM unlocked. Same deal in NZ.

Is this Apple's fault? Arguably, they have some responsibility since they made the deal with AT&T and the latter would have made it a condition. Did they have any choice though? The market was a different place back when the first iPhone was released. A lot of the phones being touted here as 'superior' because they make tethering available might not have been able to enter the market without the changes first bought about by Apple and the iPhone.

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Happy

Tethering? Of course I've got tethering on my iphone

Just to set the record straight, as I remember it:

version 3.0 of the OS: tethering was easy and free, just visit help.benm.at and install the profile

version 3.1 of the OS: update to disable the benm "hack"

version 4.0 of the OS: just tested the benm hack, with t-mobile in the UK, and it works fine.

So either Apple removed the block, with or without telling the operators, or T-mobile doesn't block it like O2, or someone has screwed up.

oops, they might read the Reg and fix it... nah.

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Bronze badge
Joke

There's always one totally brain dead pratt that screws it up for everyone else

Found one!

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Unhappy

Apple confusion

When you are shifting millions of phones in less than a month since release, despite some reports saying that it is not fit for purpose, then I can understand that Apple would not want to keep piling the features on to attract more customers. And given the rise of the USB 3G modem a lot of people may question why tethering would seem to be so important.

But on the other hand, if this phone is really meant to be such a game changer then why on earth can't Apple just let people use it as they deem fit? We all know that you have been able to do this for years on plenty of other phones, mostly via a cable, and that in the last couple of years turning some phones into Wireless hot spots has been really easy as well, so I really don't understand what on earth the problem is with this on the iPhone and AT&T.

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Anonymous Coward

Tethering for free

If you buy an unlocked iPhone (from the Apple store) then tethering is available at no extra charge. It is only if you buy a locked iPhone from one of the networks that the _networks_ impose the lock-down and demand you pay them more to use the "unlimited" data through a tethered device.

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Stop

RE: Apple confusion

"why on earth can't Apple just let people use it as they deem fit?"

They do. The tethering block is US only.

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WTF?

Have to laugh...

Sorry, just cannot get over current limits on various UK networks (and as for 150 MB in Oz, that's shameful). How much are you people paying for this privilege ?

I'm on a laptop, using a Three network dongle, paying 7.50/month and get an allowance of 15 GB a month. Yes, that's right, 15 GB. A year ago it was 5 GB for 7.50, 2 years ago 5 GB for 15 pounds.

I know I would not use that with just an iPhone alone - unless listening to streaming audio of some BBC station - possible, anyone? or using Spotify (yet another tenner on top) - but if it was being used with tethering, I'd be willing to drop to say 200 minutes of calls and 500 texts a month if they gave me 10 or 20 GB for data.

Fact is, you rich peeps with iPhones, the networks know you love your smartphone and charge as much as they can get away with for the minimum possible. If I was paying 30 quid or more, I'd feel completely ripped off.

OK, as you were!

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Gold badge

I'm paying

I'm paying £10 a month for unlimited texts, 100 minutes (I don't call people often) and totally unlimited data, not 1GB or some other limit. This is with GiffGaff, which was started by O2.

PAYG and I can alter the package at any time, for a £35 top up you can get unlimited everything.

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