Developer shows working iPhone 3.0 tethering over USB

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,852member
    yaaay! I hope AT&T does not slap us with an additional monthly charge for this feature.
  • Reply 2 of 26
    Consider it a done deal this summer. Oh, yes - it will cost extra and be capped at 5GB or so.
  • Reply 3 of 26
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,191member
    So this just confirms what's already been said by Apple.
  • Reply 4 of 26
    dmondmon Posts: 8member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 26
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 26
    tofinotofino Posts: 697member
    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...
  • Reply 7 of 26
    ahmlcoahmlco Posts: 432member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 26
    hittrj01hittrj01 Posts: 753member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 26
    alanskyalansky Posts: 235member
    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!
  • Reply 10 of 26
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 26
    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
  • Reply 12 of 26
    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
  • Reply 13 of 26
    And now Steve is no longer a registered developer for sharing with us that information....
  • Reply 14 of 26
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,852member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 26
    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....
  • Reply 16 of 26
    hezekiahbhezekiahb Posts: 448member
    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."
  • Reply 17 of 26
    hezekiahbhezekiahb Posts: 448member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 26
    j0b00j0b00 Posts: 2member
    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?
  • Reply 19 of 26
    hezekiahbhezekiahb Posts: 448member
    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).
  • Reply 20 of 26
    dualiedualie Posts: 333member
    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.
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