One of the main advantages of rooting an Android smartphone is the ability to tether a computer or tablet to a phone for free. Whether a user has 2GB, 5GB or unlimited data each month, Android developer Koushik Dutta believes a user should be able to use that data any way he or she pleases. Koush is the popular coder behind ClockworkMod Recovery and ROM Manager, two programs that help load a custom ROM onto a rooted device. The developer has now released ClockworkMod Tether, an application that allows an Android device to tether to a Mac, Linux, or Windows computer without the need for root access. This method should work with any carrier and phone, and it cannot be blocked or detected by carriers, Koush claims. The app is currently in an alpha stage of testing and will stop working on January 7th, but a new version will be released before the current build expires. More →
Want to share your iPhone’s 3G connection with your laptop for a one-time $15 fee? iTether recently launched for iOS devices and it allows you do just that, without any carrier involvement. We would use the software with caution, however. Several wireless providers such as AT&T can detect when subscribers are tethering an unauthorized device and they usually send a warning asking users to stop. iTether is available now for anyone looking for a quick tethering solution to get through the day but, since carriers will likely react negatively to its existence, we don’t expect it to be around in its current form for much longer.
UPDATE: It now looks like Apple has pulled iTether, as most presumed it would. As of approximately 11:40 a.m. Eastern, the app still shows up in the store but attempts to download it are met with Apple’s “This item is temporarily unavailable” error. More →
AT&T has started to issue warnings to customers unofficially tethering their smartphones to its network. In an email to unauthorized tetherers, the company writes, “Our records show that you use this capability, but are not subscribed to our tethering plan.” The correspondence goes on to note that users will be automatically enrolled in the $45 per month “DataPro for Smartphone Tethering” plan if they ignore the warning. “The new plan – whether you sign up on your own or we automatically enroll you – will replace your current smartphone data plan, including if you are on an unlimited data plan,” the email continues. The standard DataPro offering is $25 per month and provides users with 2GB of monthly data, although some users are still clinging to a discontinued, $30 per month 5GB data plan. It is safe to assume that a large portion of the unofficial, tethering populous is jailbroken iPhone users and rooted Android users. “If you discontinue tethering, no changes to your current plan will be required.” A copy of the email tethering-cheaters are receiving is after the break.
One of our sources has just let us know something pretty interesting. There has been a lot of talk surrounding Apple’s personal hotspot feature, specifically it’s capability of only supporting 3 wireless connections (as opposed to 5 like many other devices). Well, we have been told it’s all left to the carrier to decide. If a carrier requests it, five devices will be supported, but by default, it’s three.
Oh, and we’ve also been told iOS 4.3 will be available for download publicly at 10AM PT today. Fire up iTunes and get your update trigger-finger ready!
While speaking with blog Phone Scoop, AT&T spokesperson Seth Bloom acknowledged his company’s plans to support the mobile hotspot feature available in iOS 4.3. “To utilize this feature, customers will need to subscribe to the DataPro 4GB, $45 tethering data plan,” said Bloom. The $45, DataPro plan is currently required by iPhone customers looking to tether their device via USB or Bluetooth. Apple will make iOS 4.3 available to the public on March 11th. Bloom did not indicate whether the feature would be supported then, on day-one, but we can’t imagine too much lag time (especially since some iOS 4.3 beta users have it working now). How many of you AT&T users are going to shell out an extra $20 a month for some Wi-Fi hotspot action? More →
Following up on an exclusive from last week, T-Mobile has officially announced two new data offerings for its smartphone customers: a 200MB data plan and a tethering add-on.
The new, 200MB data plan option will cost smartphone owners $15 per month and require no contract extension. If you happen to be a satisfied T-Mo customer, and want to save yourself $60 per year, you can re-ink a new two-year agreement which will bring the offering down to $10 per month; the company will continue to offer its unlimited data plan for $30.
Next up is Magenta’s new “Tethering and Wi-Fi Sharing” plan. The add-on, which will retail for $15 per month, will allow “select smartphones” to “function as wireless modems for connecting devices, such as laptops, tablets and netbooks to the Internet through the T-Mobile network.” The tethering plan can be added to the $30, unlimited data-plan only. More →
Yesterday, news broke that T-Mobile would be releasing an update to their G2 handset; bringing Wi-Fi Calling and mobile hotspot creation to the Android 2.2 device. Today, T-Mobile has released a statement that doesn’t exactly refute the rollout of said update, but it certainly doesn’t make us confident that it will be hitting the G-Deuce today. T-Mobile wrote:
Wi-Fi Calling and tethering/Wi-Fi sharing are not currently supported on the T-Mobile G2. T-Mobile knows these features are important to consumers and we’re working to deliver them to G2 users in the future. We have nothing further to announce at this time.
If you’re a G2 user, it looks like you’ll just have to wait and see if the Software Update Fairy pays a visit to your device. More →
Sprint’s announcement that it was going to charge customers $30 per month to turn their EVO 4G into a Wi-Fi hotspot was met with a lot of criticism, but as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait. A weekend update made the popular android-wifi-tether app now allows EVO owners to tether over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to your heart’s content. To use the app you’ll first need to root your EVO, but thanks to unrevoked, anyone can root their EVO in a matter of seconds. After you’ve obtained root access, simply download 2.0.2.pre14 and up. One major drawback of the app is that it does not include support for WPA/WAP2 encryption, but so long as you’re willing to place your trust in WEP you’re good to go. That is provided your EVOs Wi-Fi isn’t on the fritz.
Our Tether for BlackBerry Giveaway ended last night and we selected our 25 winners this Sunday morning. Emails are on their way to the winners whose usernames are listed below:
patrick, George Baker, dan, Brandon, C, willy, Laz, Marc Uydess, VS, abram, ben, joshgibsonpgh, oldandroid, strayduck, Paul, RT Muir, melvin, Capt AJ, Ryan, J.W. Price, Mark Schutt, Colleen, Alan Chan, joseph g, and Francisco Lara
Many thanks to those who entered and, if you didn’t win, you can score yourself a copy of Tether while it is still 50% off.
TetherBerry, the company behind the popular BlackBerry tethering application of the same name, announced today that it is re-branding its product to Tether as it expands beyond its BlackBerry roots and embraces Android. We got a sneak preview of its upcoming Android app and the Android version will rival its BlackBerry cousin when completed. We tested Tether for Android with a Dell Studio 17 running Windows 7 and a Motorola DROID and it performed amazingly well. Being an early beta, we expected some glitches but the Android version installed easily on both the handset and the desktop and established a connection with zero configuration. We did not give Tether an extensive workout but it did perform flawlessly during the short time we used it to browse the web and send some emails. Android owners whose interest is piqued and don’t mind being guinea pigs can head over to Tether’s website as the company is currently accepting beta testers for its Android version.
Not to be overshadowed by our excitement with the Android version, the newest version of Tether for BlackBerry supports both USB and Bluetooth tethering, provides faster download speeds, offers an improved user experience and is now available in the BlackBerry App World. In honor of its new name and new version, Tether has slashed the price of its BlackBerry application by 50%, offering Tether at this discounted price until January 10th. BGR readers get some extra special love as Tether has given us 25 complimentary license codes for its BlackBerry application. To win a free copy of Tether for BlackBerry, tell us in the comments how you would use Tether in your daily life. One entry per person, duplicate entries will be disqualified. The contest closes Saturday, January 9th at 11:59PM and twenty-five winners will be chosen. Please be sure to use a valid email address in the email field when you submit your comment as we will use that address to contact the winners. Happy Tethering! More →
Alltel has reportedly launched a new $40 wireless broadband add-on option, a $20 drop from the regular $60 per month price tag. Customers must subscribe to a Smart Choice voice plan to be eligible for this $40 wireless broadband add-on, but it’s still not too shabby for a truly unlimited (read: no usage cap) EV-DO mobile broadband connection. Sorry Alltel-Verizon Wireless customers as this feature is reportedly available for divested customers only. Doh!
Finally, one of the many “every other smartphone can do it, why can’t the iPhone?” complaints constantly read throughout the blogosphere is about to be addressed – AT&T will soon make an iPhone tethering plan available to customers. AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph De La Vega might not have addressed rumors that AT&T’s struggling 3G network was the cause behind the delays, but he did make it clear that AT&T would begin offering the plan “soon”. AT&T might have a new problem now however. With jailbreaking as easy and popular as it has become, will the existence of an official iPhone tethering plan, no doubt carrying a monthly premium comparable to other Smartphone tethering plans, be widely adopted? Surely if AT&T’s tethering option were made available back when the iPhone 3G was released, many would have hopped on board. Five months later however, many of those with a real need for laptop connectivity have likely found a solution in the free jailbreak option. Only time will tell how widely the new plan is adopted but the hope is that AT&T’s new tethering option will become available with the impending release of the iPhone 2.2 software update. So iPhone users, are you planning to ditch your free jailbreak option and jump on board?