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Developer shows working iPhone 3.0 tethering over USB

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Confirming what Apple had hinted at in its iPhone 3.0 presentation, a developer has successfully, if unintentionally, enabled data tethering on the new iPhone firmware.

Irish programmer Steven Troughton-Smith discovered the phone-as-modem feature's presence in the beta by accident earlier on Wednesday after uploading a custom Carrier Settings file to overwrite the defaults for O2, his local provider.

While understandably spotty due to its beta state -- the phone initially hard-locked on making the computer connection -- tethering has successfully given Troughton's Mac 3G data access over USB as though it were another network adapter. The feature is exposed in the iPhone's network settings as a simple slider and describes the feature as only requiring a USB connection or a Bluetooth pairing, though the latter hasn't yet been tested.

When connected, an iPhone shows a blue "Internet tethering" status bar below the clock to remind the owner that the tethering link is still active and consuming data, much as existing iPhone firmware will display a green bar to indicate an ongoing phone call.



The exposed feature, noticed by MacRumors on Wednesday, confirms remarks by senior iPhone software VP Scott Forstall that tethering is present in iPhone 3.0 itself but would depend on commercial and technical support from individual cellphone carriers before it could become a simple option for subscribers.

At this stage, it's not possible to tell which if any carriers might already be enabled for iPhone tethering, though only AT&T has set out plans for the data modem link to become an option sometime in the future. Some providers, like Rogers Wireless in Canada, already factor tethering into their plans for most smartphones and wouldn't have any pricing limitations as a result.
post #2 of 27
yaaay! I hope AT&T does not slap us with an additional monthly charge for this feature.
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post #3 of 27
Consider it a done deal this summer. Oh, yes - it will cost extra and be capped at 5GB or so.
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2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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post #4 of 27
So this just confirms what's already been said by Apple.

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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post #5 of 27
It's interesting that Apple didn't even mention this major feature in the presentation - it was only mentioned after someone asked about it in the QA. I wonder if there are other features of this magnitude built into 3.0 that they haven't told us about yet. Kind of the opposite of promoting a feature that is only half-baked just to say you have it. Refreshing.
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmon View Post

It's interesting that Apple didn't even mention this major feature in the presentation - it was only mentioned after someone asked about it in the QA. I wonder if there are other features of this magnitude built into 3.0 that they haven't told us about yet. Kind of the opposite of promoting a feature that is only half-baked just to say you have it. Refreshing.

It's probably because they have talked about it lots before.

Lots of gripers fill forums like this with angry posts about when Apple will allow tethering but they've always been pretty clear about the fact that it's the cell provider that they are waiting on. Even now it's the same story.
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In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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post #7 of 27
Quote:
Some providers, like Rogers Wireless in Canada, already factor tethering into their plans for most smartphones and wouldn't have any pricing limitations as a result.

hmmm... that doesn't sound like rogers. curious where that info comes from...
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmon View Post

It's interesting that Apple didn't even mention this major feature in the presentation - it was only mentioned after someone asked about it in the QA. I wonder if there are other features of this magnitude built into 3.0 that they haven't told us about yet.

Apple said that the 3.0 release will add over a hundred new features to the iPhone. As such, I'm sure that there are plenty of things still hidden behind the curtain, waiting for the office public announcement and, probably, for the next-generation iPhone 3G.
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

yaaay! I hope AT&T does not slap us with an additional monthly charge for this feature.

AT&T charges $30/month extra for tethering, regardless if it's a Palm, Blackberry, WinMo, or now even an iPhone. If you have the business data plan that's $45/month, they charge an extra $15/month. Either way, they make you pay $60/month (just for data) so you can tether your smartphone to your computer. And again, that's regardless of phone, so all of you who complain that the iPhone is SOOOOO expensive, it is the exact same price across the board. Get a Blackberry, and you will pay the same price for what is IMHO an inferior device, although I know that is up for very hot debate.
post #10 of 27
It's the old Barbie Doll scam all over again. First come the moveable arms. Then, six months later, it's moveable legs. Imagine that! I am eagerly awaiting the day when my iPhone works on mobile networks that let users do anything their devices are capable of doing. Death to AT&T!
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

yaaay! I hope AT&T does not slap us with an additional monthly charge for this feature.

I would not be surprised because they charge more for computer cellular connections in general. I would use a lot more data using a computer than I would over the handheld device though, so I can see why.
post #12 of 27
ROGERS Factors in tethering for its data plans. GOD that explains everything. it explains why as it stands I pay 80 Dollars a month for a plan that inclubes 512 MB of data a month! Because I can tether it to my computer. how did I NOT guess that.

You know here in Canada the most data we can purchase for an iPhone no matter how much were willing to pay is 2 GBs because they wanna be able to over charge you 50cent PER MB after that.

I hate telecommunications in canada
post #13 of 27
If it is included with Rogers that will make me very happy I have the grandfathered 6 gig plan for $30.... Which they have tried to get me to downgrade to the $25 for 1 Gig plan 3 times
post #14 of 27
And now Steve is no longer a registered developer for sharing with us that information....
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post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I would not be surprised because they charge more for computer cellular connections in general. I would use a lot more data using a computer than I would over the handheld device though, so I can see why.

I've previously asked an AT&T plan salesperson about tethering and he told me that the iPhone does not support tethering but that they have other phones that do, and he clearly stated to me that there were no additional fees for tethering. I'm gonna go this weekend and ask them again.
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post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmon View Post

It's interesting that Apple didn't even mention this major feature in the presentation - it was only mentioned after someone asked about it in the QA. I wonder if there are other features of this magnitude built into 3.0 that they haven't told us about yet. Kind of the opposite of promoting a feature that is only half-baked just to say you have it. Refreshing.

I figure that any feature that is being made for 3.0, but unnecessary for developers to be aware of, would have been avoided in the presentation

* tethering
* voice dialling
* springboard updates
etc

Apple wouldn't give away all their surprises would they?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

AT&T charges $30/month extra for tethering, regardless if it's a Palm, Blackberry, WinMo, or now even an iPhone.

If true that makes me glad to be in a country without "unlimited iPhone data". Sure we only get 250MB (which is ample unless streaming media all the time) but it also means if we activate tethering there's no extra charge (for the same plan allowance). Might have to buy a bigger plan though....
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post

Consider it a done deal this summer. Oh, yes - it will cost extra and be capped at 5GB or so.

Tethering always is an additional charge. I think Verizon charges like $15. We had this come up recently with a Sprint user who got the "Simply Everything" plan. Apparently tethering isn't included in that plan, which to me says it isn't "simply everything."
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

It's probably because they have talked about it lots before.

Lots of gripers fill forums like this with angry posts about when Apple will allow tethering but they've always been pretty clear about the fact that it's the cell provider that they are waiting on. Even now it's the same story.

Yeah, I suspect the built in tethering is their way of pushing the phone companies. They probably didn't promote it because it isn't a feature that will be supported across all providers but having it built in means they can say "our end is done, take that up with the provider."

We know that tethering was already possible because of the 3rd party app that allowed it, Apple has just chosen to build it into the system itself. They probably hadn't done this before because they didn't have any providers adopting tethering yet, so this would indicate to me that they probably already have some providers saying they are ready to jump on board with the release of 3.0.
post #19 of 27
Is it possible that the carrier settings file that was edited manually to enable tethering will be one which tethering is toggled on or off via an over-the-air update from AT&T (or any other carrier) when the feature is added to the device? So, unless you have tethering added in the billing system, this preference pane wouldn't be available...

Possible?
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by alansky View Post

It's the old Barbie Doll scam all over again. First come the moveable arms. Then, six months later, it's moveable legs. Imagine that! I am eagerly awaiting the day when my iPhone works on mobile networks that let users do anything their devices are capable of doing. Death to AT&T!

AT&T? Try just about every cell provider! I don't like the way it's done either but AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, all are very competitive on pricing & offer about the same deals.

Big differences to providers are usually more regional. Some areas have better AT&T, some better Verizon, some better Sprint, not sure about T-Mobile. The one thing I will say though is it will be nice when the iPhone is no longer under exclusive contract with AT&T, though as a Verizon user I doubt I'd ever get one on their network (they disabled wifi on the new BlackBerry Storm).
post #21 of 27
Screw AT&T, screw Apple, and screw anybody who bends over and pays extra for something that should be included in the original data plan price.

I'll stick with my Sprint UNLIMITED 3G EVDO card for my MBP for $57/month, and my pay-as-you-go phone for under $10/month. Is it glamorous? No, but I have everything I need and nothing more.

Stop perpetuating ridiculously over-priced AT&T crap by suckering up to it.
post #22 of 27
Tethering would allow you to access the internet from your laptop in area's where there are no open wireless hotspots. Is this correct?
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by rain View Post

Tethering would allow you to access the internet from your laptop in area's where there are no open wireless hotspots. Is this correct?

Yes, from anywhere you can get a cellular data connection (e.g., 3G).
post #24 of 27
Rogers in Canada does allow tethering on at least some of their data plans. I and many others have successfully tethered our laptops to our Rogers phones with no impact to our bills (assuming we stay under our data plan's allotment).

But there's something about these 3.0 tethering reports I just don't understand. Tethering solutions for jailbroken iPhones are well documented. Besides us Rogers folks, I've read many a forum post across the web of people clandestinely using tethering on their AT&T data plans, albeit on a limited basis (and seemingly flying underneath AT&T's radar).

So, what is this talk from Apple about carriers somehow needing to enable tethering? Seems eminently enabled to me, at least technically. Why haven't you reporter types called Apple on this?
post #25 of 27
I am posting this tethered to my iPhone 3G with 3.0. I am not going to risk abusing it but thought it was pretty neat. I have to use usb rather than bluetooth because for some reason BT tethering doesn't work with MBA second gen?!
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickRS View Post

So, what is this talk from Apple about carriers somehow needing to enable tethering? Seems eminently enabled to me, at least technically. Why haven't you reporter types called Apple on this?

I think the point is that it's often against the terms of service, albeit with no real way they can detect it.

I once was in a situation where we had no internet access for 2 months (temporary house, didn't want to pay a huge connection charge to get a phone line put in). I bought a data plan from 3, my mobile network. I could have paid double the amount for the same bandwidth allowance but with an official approved tethering solution: I went for the cheaper one and just didn't tell them what I was doing. My Nokia phone (which was purchased from the network, not unlocked or anything) managed the tethering with no problem, and Apple's net connection sharing then let my housemates use it over wifi.

Amorya
post #27 of 27
I got bluetooth tethering working with iPhone OS 3.0 Beta, but a complete nadda on the USB. The iPhone appears not to have any further config beyond an on-switch for tethering.

I thought that iTunes 8.1 or the latest builds of 10.5.7 and 10.6 would contain which ever driver is necessary but nothing happens. Network should be able to detect there is a shiny new USB port to use for networking but I get no action whatsoever.

Anyone got this working and knows whatever trick has to be pulled?

Bluetooth tethering was FAST. Faster than my old Windows Mobile piece of sh!t.

UPDATE: I knew I was missing something. The iPhone SDK for 3.0 contains a new USB-Ethernet host kernel extension which allows Mac OS X to use the iPhone over the USB cable. I'm surprised this isn't in the OS already. Maybe it's still in beta itself.
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