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Portables (Apple) Hardware

iPhone Tethering App Released, Killed In 2 Hours 434

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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  • I got mine (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    it works

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

      by sqlrob ( 173498 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @08:59AM (#24446799)

      Until Apple decides to blacklist it and erase it off the phone on an iTunes update.

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

        by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <> on Saturday August 02, 2008 @10:44AM (#24447483)
        Then they will be getting a letter from my lawyer regarding the £5.99 I paid for the app.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ROBOKATZ ( 211768 )
          Then they will give you a refund.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by mysidia ( 191772 )

            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.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by cayenne8 ( 626475 )
              Too bad. One of the main reasons I've not gotten and iPhone the lack of tethering ability.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Dan541 ( 1032000 )

              Illegaly interfered with?

              If you make an update you agree to the changes that come with it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sqlrob ( 173498 )

          "So sorry, the OS update broke it, nothing we can do"

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Frosty Piss ( 770223 )

          Then they will be getting a letter from my lawyer regarding the £5.99 I paid for the app.

          No, they will not. Stop strutting like a chicken and making a lot of noise, you'll never do anything and you know it.

    • by PC and Sony Fanboy ( 1248258 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @09:02AM (#24446817) Journal
      I know tethering is against the AT&T rules and regulations... but why was it pulled for all non-usa iphones? We don't have the same agreements with our carriers outside the USA, and yet ... we suffer because AT&T can't stop complaining...
      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 02, 2008 @09:39AM (#24446999)
        The thinking is...

        The U.S. is the only country that matters.
      • by electrosoccertux ( 874415 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @09:53AM (#24447085)

        I don't get it.
        Buy $600 phone.
        Pay $60-90/month to use it.
        And you can't tether.

        That's what I'd be the most interested in anyways. WOW on the go would be fun.

        • by JohnnyGTO ( 102952 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @11:00AM (#24447607) Homepage
          This is why AT&T offers a better phone, the Tilt, that allows tethering.
          I will now run away and hide.
      • by stevel ( 64802 ) * on Saturday August 02, 2008 @10:09AM (#24447193) Homepage

        Tethering is not against AT&T rules in general. Tethering is supported on AT&T if you have a plan that allows it. In the past, all data plans allowed tethering, and that's the kind I have. Nowadays their data plans for PDA phones come in two levels, with and without tethering. The difference does not seem to be strictly enforced from what I have heard, but if you are caught tethering on a no-tether plan you may be subject to big extra charges.

        I do not have an iPhone, and lack of tethering support is one of many reasons why. I occasionally tether with my Treo 750 and it works well.

        Whatever the issue is with tethering on the iPhone, it would seem to be Apple and not AT&T. Many AT&T phones support tethering, but not the iPhone.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Solandri ( 704621 )

          Tethering is not against AT&T rules in general. Tethering is supported on AT&T if you have a plan that allows it. In the past, all data plans allowed tethering, and that's the kind I have. Nowadays their data plans for PDA phones come in two levels, with and without tethering. The difference does not seem to be strictly enforced from what I have heard, but if you are caught tethering on a no-tether plan you may be subject to big extra charges.

          I've always wondered why the phone companies try to make

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

            But then you couldn't call your data plan unlimited, could you? And you can't very well offer "unlimited" data if someone is actually going to take you up on that. Why, they might run something other than a tiny little web browser and e-mail program!

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by iocat ( 572367 )
        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 B

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

          If you're tethering and worried about the battery just plug your iPhone into your computer.

          I suspect that the real reason is that Apple bullied AT&T into providing an unlimited data plan for the iPhone and AT&T is terrified that someone's going to run bittorrent on it. From a perusal of their web page, the tethering option knocks you from unlimited data to 5GB /month.

  • Maybe people realised a $10 _phone_ can provide the same functionality.

  • I downloaded it and it works great! I checked this morning and it is gone again. I'm only going to use it to for light browsing when Wifi isn't available. I think a lot of iphone users use Wifi quite frequently, I know I do, so having the ability to tether makes the data plan worth the money. I suspect the 30 dollar data plan is underused my many, so this app shouldn't put too much stress on ATT's network.
  • by DurendalMac ( 736637 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @09:08AM (#24446851)
    The queue is really lagging. The app is back up and still for sale. Come on, Slashdot mods, stay current!
    • by DurendalMac ( 736637 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @09:18AM (#24446903)
      Blah, I stand corrected. It was put back up but now it's down AGAIN. WTF?
      • We have already seen what happens when Apple wants to pull an app. Remember the Aurora Feint thing? That app had some issues with security and privacy, and it not only disappeared from the store, but from iPhones also.

        This app may be going on and off the store, but until it disappears from iPhones and a credit shows up on those accounts, it will be back.

        This is likely more to do with servers and/or databases syncing up or some such. I had the same thing happen trying to buy Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart on

    • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @09:20AM (#24446915)

      The story about it being back will show up tomorrow or the next day.

      Slashdot is more of a weekly news/opinion magazine than a timely source of information. They should probably change it to "old news for slow nerds and propaganda about what our editors hate".

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ClaraBow ( 212734 )
      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...
  • that seems fine, but it only pays for the software. Who pays for the extra traffic over the network ?
    My HTC handheld has Internet connection sharing (WM5) supplied for free in the base install. But I have to pay to use that functionality - not MS, but my ISP, which is T-Mobile.
    I get 3 GB transfer per month for £10. I could get 1GB transfer free with my line rental, but understandably, they don't like you using that to feed a laptop. Not many people download huge files on a handheld, but a laptop is a
  • by itsdapead ( 734413 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @09:42AM (#24447023)

    What exactly are AT&T/Apple trying to accomplish here?

    Quite simple:

    1. AT&T (like other mobile operators) would like you to pay extra for the privilege of using your phone as a modem. This has nothing to do with Apple or iPhone: e.g. the same thing applies to my Windows Mobile smartphone on T-Mobile (UK).

    2. Apple needs to play nicely with AT&T and its other mobile operators and can't be seen encouraging people to breach the terms & conditions.

    3. Presumably, someone at Apple OK'd this software without checking the AT&T T&Cs. Someone else spotted the error and took it down.

    Nothing to see, move along.

  • by ArIck ( 203 )

    ... is the fact that Apple has been switching sides on this issue:

    First they allow, two hours later its gone, then after a day they allow once again and eventually bham its gone. Cant they make up their mind whether to allow the App or not.

    C'mon Apple think about all the fanboys who think you are perfect*.

    * Before you mod me as troll do note I am typing this on my Macbook Pro and was about to get this app after work when it jsut disappeared again.

  • Why is it against the terms of use of the iPhone?

    • by victim ( 30647 )

      Desktop/laptop applications are great wallowing bandwith users compared to phone applications. You don't realize it because you have plenty of bandwidth.

      Cellular devices are sharing extremely limited bandwidth in each cell among all users. All the crazy background traffic from tethered computers drags down everyone's performance.

      To belabor the point... my laptop regularly downloads dozens of RSS feeds without my input, when email arrives with stupid 19M powerpoint attachment, my email client downloads it so

  • by burris ( 122191 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @10:23AM (#24447319)

    AT&T had to ban this to protect the network, the same reason Comcast has to ban BitTorrent. I'm sure all of you understand. It is very important to protect the network from new, predatory applications or we will never have innovation. Just look at how the plain old phone network collapsed and became totally useless after the courts forced the telcos to allow their customers to plug in unapproved phones. Overnight people were plugging in 3, 4, 5 phones, vastly exceeding the phone rental limits. Some were even using newfangled wireless phones that let them consume Precious Network Resources from places the Telcos never planned on, such as the yard or bathroom.

  • by IrrepressibleMonkey ( 1045046 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @10:49AM (#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.
    • There are many European countries selling 3G based "broadband Internet", with dedicated devices (not phones, just simple USB HSDPA modems that take a SIM card).

      In those countries, the basestations should be more than capable of handling hogs (either by allowing the traffic, or by throttling abusers so they don't mess up everybody else's connections).

      As for tethering... That's the main reason I gave away my iPhone 3G (I work for a mobile operator, got one at launch day, and gave it away to the person in my t

  • by gigamonkey ( 973801 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @01:06PM (#24448727) Journal
    Just an official reply from Nullriver.... We're not quite sure why Apple took down the application yet, we've received no communication from Apple thus far. NetShare did not violate any of the Developer or AppStore agreements. We're hoping we'll get some feedback from Apple tomorrow. Sorry to all the folks that couldn't get it in time. We'll do our best to try to get the application back onto the AppStore if at all possible. At the very least, I would hope Apple will allow it in countries where the provider does permit tethering. We'll keep everyone posted. Thanks!
  • N95 (Score:3, Informative)

    by QuoteMstr ( 55051 ) <> on Saturday August 02, 2008 @03:00PM (#24449851)

    I love my N95. Not only does it do everything the iPhone does (except have a touchscreen, which I don't want), tethering is a cinch via bluetooth or USB. I can install any application I want on it. Applications can actually run in the background. And it looks like Symbian might actually become an open-source OS.

    Plus, it had 3G support from the start. And wifi. And VOIP. And a built-in GPS receiver. etc. etc.

    Wow. I sound like an ad. I'm really just a satisfied customer.

What this country needs is a good five cent ANYTHING!