From the day the iPhone was first announced (way back in 2007), it was destined to be a success. In fact it‚Äôs hard to even think of another mobile device that generated so much hype and curiosity among fanboys and even fangirls. But the device wasn‚Äôt without it faults and the lack of standard features like MMS, Bluetooth Stereo support, Copy-Paste made mobile gurus scratch their ahead in wonder. Absence of tethering support was also considered the Achilles Heel of the iPhone by some, as Apple marketed the handset as a smartphone and there were many smartphones that offered this feature without any glitches.
While AT&T time and time again promised tethering, it somehow never seemed to deliver. Many got tired playing the waiting game and after the 2.0 firmware, chose to download apps that made it possible to run tethering services on the iPhone. Listed below are some of the apps that got the ball rolling and tried to changed the tethering scenario.
Note: if we have missed any of the notable iphone tethering events, please comment below.
The NetShare app was a pioneer of sorts as it was the first official tethering app that made its way to the iTunes Store. However its glory was short-lived since it was subsequently pulled from App Store by Apple. Nullriver’s US$9.99 NetShare application allows iPhone users to share their cellular connection from their iPhone with other devices over a Wi-Fi network.
While Apple continued having a tumultuous relationship with NetShare, another application cropped up to offer tethering services. The iPhone Modem app comes with its own MAC and iPhone client and lets you enjoy Internet connectivity without any glitches on jailbroken iPhones.
Jailbroken iPhone seems to have all the fun. Don‚Äôt believe us? Then do check out the PDAnet app, which lets you enjoy full Internet tethering as it moonlights as a Wi-Fi router. The process is a little complicated but you are in luck as we have the how to guide right here. The PDAnet app is a favourite at iSmashPhone and we do think it‚Äôs the best way to enjoy tethering.
All the above apps are well and good but the real question is how much will it cost when AT&T decides to take the plunge? According to an AT&T insider, iPhone users don‚Äôt have to worry much as the network won’t go beyond the US$10.00 price point for tethering which is quiet acceptable don‚Äôt you think?
Another big question is if Apple is 100% behind tethering? According to Scott Forstall of Apple, the company whole-heartily support tethering but has its hands tied due to carrier policies!
‚ÄúWe’re absolutely supporting tethering in the client side in iPhone 3.0, but we’re working with carriers around the world to see when they can add tethering support on their networks.‚Äù
During the 3GS announcement at WWDC 2009 (June 17th), the Powers Of Be at AT&T promised that they would introduce both MMS and Tethering by the end of summer. However the network failed to deliver on both ends. A number off cynics were not surprised since its AT&T in question.
If you thought the tethering drama is going to die a natural death, then think again! iPhone tethering hacks have been released as of 3.0 beta, but as of iPhone OS 3.1 firmware known tethering hacks have been killed! Of course a fix was found by an enterprising hacker and all was okay in the iPhone universe once again!
So what is the current status of tethering services on iPhone? Now that the Blacksn0w unlock (05.11.07 baseband) is available for iPhone 3GS, thinks do look positive (unofficially). Geohot used two utilities to unlock the iPhone and you can check out the how to guide here.
Its not unreasonable for smartphones users to expect Internet tethering from their devices. Hence its rather unfortunate that iPhone users got the short end of the stick due to network policies and politics. Its clear that AT&T has failed its customer base which may be due to mainly inadequate infrastructure. However at the end of the day, excuses don‚Äôt make for a satisfied customer base and we hope AT&T are genuinely working towards the tethering issue.