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Portables (Apple) Hardware

iPhone Tethering App Released, Killed In 2 Hours 434

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the and-they-wonder-why-we-jailbreak dept.
tjhayes writes "The iPhone App Store released an application called NetShare that allowed the iPhone to tether a laptop to the internet. It was priced at a $10 one-time fee. After being available for approximately 2 hours, the application has disappeared from the apps store. What exactly are AT&T/Apple trying to accomplish here?" They are trying to prove what is wrong with DRM, and demonstrate why hackers want to jailbreak the iPhone.
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iPhone Tethering App Released, Killed In 2 Hours

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  • Taco Is An Idiot (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 02, 2008 @08:05AM (#24446835)

    And those that purchase iPhones to "jailbreak" them are just as dumb. If you hate Apple's stifling environment so much, don't buy an iPhone.

    Why go thru the hassle of hacking something that you know is against their rules and agreements? You will get shut down in a minute anyways.

  • by bleh-of-the-huns (17740) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @08:15AM (#24446889)

    No, its not, its ATT protecting its revenue stream b y charging an insane (I believe it is $80 per month for the laptop connect plans), at which point ATT does not care whether or not you use a pc express card or a phone or usb dongle to use your laptop.

  • by ClaraBow (212734) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @08:23AM (#24446931)
    It is no longer available as of this morning. I just checked and it isn't there. So something be going on. It has been available on and off since yesterday. Maybe Apple and ATT are playing a game of tug-of-war...
  • by blahbooboo (839709) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @08:48AM (#24447057)

    1) Unique -- Uh, how about the user interface? One can be nit-picky about anything not being "unique." For example, there is nothing unique or original between a Ford and a Mercedes vehicle, I mean they both have wheels, seats, and use gas right? (sarcasm in case you miss it).

    2) Battery -- Well, your usage is different. I have never ever purchased a second battery for a cell phone in all the years I have owned a cell phone. Your experience obviously is different. Oh, you do realize you can buy a replacement battery from Apple right?

    3) Palm OS does all the same things -- Are you kidding me? That OS is CRAP, wait that would give crap a bad name it's so shitty. If people wanted to use something designed in 1995 have fun. You have got to be kidding trying to compare Palm OS to any of the modern cell OS systems.

    Oh, and I don't own an iPhone. Your comments just were too ridiculous to ignore.

  • by iocat (572367) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @09:11AM (#24447231) Homepage Journal
    Tethering is absolutely not against AT&T regulations. I was able to pay I think... $9.95 a month to add tethering to my data plan for my 3G Cingular Windows Mobile 8525 (aka the Tilt). ATT is all about tethering. Not sure why they hate it on the iPhone.

    But... I do know that it totally sucked in terms of speed and battery life. If they are banning tethering on the iPhone, I suspect it's battery-life related, since the battery life seems to be the 800lb gorrila in the room with that phone. [smugly pats BlackBerry Curve]

  • by gruntled (107194) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @09:19AM (#24447285)

    A non-replaceable battery on your phone is a critical issue for those of us who use our cellphones frequently for business reasons. With my current phone, if I find myself on calls for four hours during during the day, and I'm worried about the battery running out of juice later in the afternoon, I can just slap in the spare, charged battery I lug around in my bag. I guess there are external chargers you can carry around and plug your iPhone into if you needed to, but then your phone rings and you're trying to do stuff with your cell plugged in to an external battery pack and whatnot.

    A non-replaceable battery is just a poor design choice for a phone. It makes it much less functional for a lot of people.

    The real deal killer for me is ATT. Not with a gun to my head. I need my telephone to ring when somebody calls me, not go into voice mail. I do carry an iPod touch, which I love, but if ATT offered a data only plan for people who weren't disabled, I'd grab an iPhone and sign up for that plan right away...

  • by dindi (78034) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @09:32AM (#24447391) Homepage

    features that everyone raves about on the iPhone, but I've never used them. It doesn't even occur to me to use them because I feel like I need a PhD in computer science with a specialization in programing for imbedded devices to figure out how to use the damn features.

    Hah, thank you. I own a Nokia e65, which is as expensive as an iPhone, but I simply do not feel like using these functions, because they suck with the interface provided...

    I "accidentally" bought an iPhone (I had a site I had to format for iPhone so I had to get a phone), and after that I just kept the phone. Even though some features (such as net sharing with a laptop) are missing, I am still happier because YOU CAN USE THE DAMN THING .... unlike the 40 others ......

    I also totally agree with your other points about Apple VS not apple, but I made the switch from Linux desktop (as I dropped Windows 10 years ago, even though I had to use it here and there)

  • Re:I got mine (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice.gmail@com> on Saturday August 02, 2008 @09:44AM (#24447483)
    Then they will be getting a letter from my lawyer regarding the £5.99 I paid for the app.
  • by IrrepressibleMonkey (1045046) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @09:49AM (#24447525)
    Or at least that was my understanding.

    So I want O2 (UK) to think very carefully before allowing tethering and opening up the shared resource to every possible application.

    Right now I have unlimited data to my iPhone, but that will be no good to me if the network becomes saturated. (And yes, with an unlimited data plan, some users will run BitTorrent over a tethered connection just because they can.)

    Apple's Hokey Cokey with the NetShare application? I can't explain that, but you can see where the conflict lies.

    Allow the customers to do whatever they want, or protect the current experience for everyone.
  • by blincoln (592401) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @10:06AM (#24447651) Homepage Journal

    What is unique about the iPhone is the way Apple decides what you are allowed to use it for.

    It's also unique from other smartphones in that it has an interface that isn't a complete pile of crap. Windows Mobile and the BlackBerry OS are uniformly terrible in their UI design.

    The iPhone is the first handheld computer I've seen with a UI that is effective, intuitive, and responsive. Everything just works the way I expect it to. And I say that as someone who doesn't own a Mac and probably never will because I have serious complaints about the OS X UI.

  • Re:I got mine (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mysidia (191772) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @10:15AM (#24447737)

    Then they get a letter about their malicious interference causing damages in the amount of $(cost of obtaining an additional wireless internet connection for the PC and ongoing subscription costs for the additional connection).

    Since that is the least-costly alternative, to use of the purchased product that they illegally interfered with.

  • by fabu10u$ (839423) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @10:16AM (#24447759)
    you could turn your iPhone into a developer device and never have to worry about them pulling this from the App Store. The question is, how to publish the source without attracting The Steve's attention?
  • by bonhomme_de_neige (711691) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @11:37AM (#24448453) Homepage

    So it's something to do with the UI - well what? Obviously it fails at basic UI functionality such as copy/paste, so there must be something it does wonderfully better to make up, right? Just tell us what it is, please...

    The multitouch screen and the way it's used for zoom/pan is the only thing that makes the browser useable on such a small screen (relative to other handheld devices, maybe the screen is not so small, but it is compared to any real screen that you'd be used to browsing on).

    I had an SE M600i that had a functional browser, but pages were either too tiny to read or too zoomed in to see where the text you want is. Changing the zoom level required going though a menu. While it was no doubt _possible_ to get the info you wanted, in terms of ease of use if you could easily call a friend who you knew was at a computer and ask them to look it up, you'd do that instead.

    The ease of panning and changing zoom levels on the iPhone, although it seems like a trite toy, is actually the only thing that makes the browsing useable - in fact, it's quite nice to use (of course, no handheld device can ever compare to a full size screen in this regard, but this is as close as it gets). Add to this the fact that Safari on the iPhone renders almost any page well, whereas say Opera Mini on Symbian is quite easy to trip up. For example, the Citibank login screen has some Javascript (for a rubbish on-screen keyboard you have to use) that makes it impossible to log in from the SE, but possible on the iPhone.

    I won't lie to you, the lack of copy/paste is quite annoying. The M600i had copy/paste and I did use it a lot. Also I still can't type quite as fast on the iPhone touch screen as I could on the M600i QWERTY keyboard (but close). But it's not a deal breaker - I'll take the lack of copy paste in exchange for a useable browser. It definitely has shortcomings. But hey, you asked what it was that was better so now you know...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 02, 2008 @12:11PM (#24448781)

    The real deal killer for me is ATT. [...] I need my telephone to ring when somebody calls me, not go into voice mail.

    Sadly, I have found Verizon's service to be quite poor, and considerably more expensive.

    As someone who uses a cell phone for critical business functions, all I can say is that I left Verizon due to poor service quality. You may hate AT&T, but in my experience it is a much higher quality service than Verizon. I left Verizon years ago, and am much happier with my service now.

    Back in the analog days I did find Verizon to have better coverage compared to AT&T's TDMA service. But that was long ago, and those first and second generation networks have long been dismantled.

    I need my telephone to ring when somebody calls me, not go into voice mail.

    And of course, with all American providers, you can set up the call waiting, call forwarding, and ring-count-before-forwarding rules through both the handset and through the provider's web site. There are no differences between the wireless providers in this category.

  • by IrrepressibleMonkey (1045046) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @01:21PM (#24449417)
    Of course it's an issue.

    Sure, you can buy a USB modem and sign up for mobile broadband, but to my knowledge it starts at about £10 a month for 1 GB of usage. The iPhone comes with unlimited data and no 'fair usage' limit.

    Not sure what provider you guys are using, but I think you'll find that you are restricted in the data you consume (usually to single digit GB).

    The only reason that the iPhone isn't, is because generally speaking, it's pretty hard to use too much with a phone and a browser. Start tethering and it's a different game.
  • Re:"insightful"? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rm999 (775449) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @02:06PM (#24449895)

    No cell phone provider will allow you to tether your phone to a laptop without paying an extra fee. If the practice becomes mainstream, expect more bandwidth limitations or filtering.

  • Not my problem (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 02, 2008 @05:57PM (#24451353)

    The fact that AT&T or the RIAA or Apple may have invested a lot of money is not only not my concern, it's not my business. You seem to be implying that because they have invested money that they have some sort of moral right to do as they please.

    Well, I don't recognize their authority to do anything other than offer something for sale. Once it's sold to me, I will do with it as I please.

    And yes, if they want to cut me off, that's their business too.

    What I object to is that the government becomes the agent of enforcement of profits. That's bullshit. And because the government has essentially conspired against it's own citizens and with business entities that buy sponsorship of corrupt laws, then it's hard to recognize them as valid laws.

    Son, we're at that point. We're at that point.

  • by EdwinFreed (1084059) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @06:42PM (#24451577)
    My iPhone is the fourth smartphone I've had. I spent enough time with its predecessors to know all the tricks - and there were plenty of those to learn - to use most of their features. Address book, calendar, camera, games, etc. - at one point I even synced the phone with my laptop regularly.

    The trouble was doing all this stuff felt about as good as having a root canal. Sure, there was a keyboard shortcut feature that made a few things easier. But over time almost everything fell into disuse because it was just too painful to operate.

    The iPhone has changed my habits completely. Everything that was hard to do is now easy. The only thing I didn't like was having to use a cable to sync it. (But unlike its predecessors the sync always worked flawlessly.) Even that is now a nonissue with MobileMe.

    I thought maybe it was just me being too picky. But then...

    My wife, whose interest in matters technical is fairly limited, has also had a smartphone for quite a while. (Actually a much nicer one than mine.) But after browsing the manual she never did anything with it - she said it was too much trouble.

    Last week she got an iPhone. She hasn't had a moment's difficulty operating it. And she's using the phone's capabilities for the first time. For example, her addressbook is already full of entries, entries she typed into Address Book on her computer and synced to her phone with no help from anyone.

    Usability really does matter. And while the iPhone is a long way from perfect, it represents a substantial advance.
  • Re:I got mine (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cayenne8 (626475) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @06:58PM (#24451659) Homepage Journal
    Too bad. One of the main reasons I've not gotten and iPhone yet...is the lack of tethering ability.
  • Re:N95 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by 16K Ram Pack (690082) <tim...almond@@@gmail...com> on Saturday August 02, 2008 @07:35PM (#24451865) Homepage

    As an E65 user who has installed a few apps, I was waiting for this day to come, when people realised that the friendliness and convenience of a Master Control Program for their iPhone would bite them in the balls.

    I know someone who has just bought this app, and he's now wondering if Apple are going to force an uninstall, but I think that's unlikely. But of course, it does mean that he now has an unsupported application.

    It's reassuring to know that I can point my browser at an address somewhere on the web, and get the software from the creator if I want, and that Nokia aren't going to get in my way.

  • by IrrepressibleMonkey (1045046) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @04:27PM (#24459393)

    But you're already sharing it with those with Windows Mobile (and presumably Symbian) smartphones who can share their internet connections with their computers. Hell, you're sharing it with those who have the O2 USB 3G modem. It's not as if iPhone users have their own special 3G network...

    The standard O2 'unlimited' web package has a 200MB per month 'fair usage' policy. The iPhone data package is not subject to a 'fair usage' policy and allows unlimited data. This is because all of their iPhone customers complained (and O2 probably realised that it's actually quite hard to use too much data on an iPhone).

    So yeah, tether away with your Windows Mobile Device, but you won't be able to do much damage to my online experience with only 200MB to burn. I assume the O2 3G modem packages have higher allowances, but they are still limited.

    If an iPhone tethering application is released in the UK, O2 will start enforcing data limits on their iPhone customers. Since I don't have a laptop, you can see why I'm reluctant to join in the demand...?

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