Developer slips tethering into iTunes
Oi! Put that light out
An iPhone developer slipped a tethering application onto the iTunes store: getting past Apple's ban on such applications by disguising it as a pocket torch.
The app has now been removed, Cupertino having been alerted by reviews that called for a background-running version of the application, but those who paid a dollar for the app are still able to get their laptops online through the iPhone without paying AT&T's tethering fee.
Tethering - providing internet connectivity to a laptop over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or a cable - used to be a standard feature of smartphones, but as the mobile internet grew in popularity network operators started charging a premium for those who want to access the internet from a laptop.
The fact that a modern smartphone is capable of consuming just as much bandwidth as a laptop isn't important: the majority of handset users don't consume much bandwidth, while the majority of laptop users do, which is why the operators want to charge more.
Not that it's easy to distinguish between laptop and handset browsing these days, and light users have long got away with connecting without paying the premium, but the control Apple has over the iPhone platform enables operators to technically block tethering until the subscriber stumps up the higher rate.
Avoiding that premium is what drives so many people to unlock their iPhones, so Handy Light, from developer Nicholas Lee, is an idea solution for everyone except AT&T, and (by extension) Apple.
The application appears to just paint a single colour across the iPhone screen, for no readily-discernible reason (white, sure, for those moments when one needs light, but blue, red, green?) but while running the application also creates a Wi-Fi hotspot with internet access channelled over the phone's 3G connection.
The initial reviews are quite subtle: "Great app! Works like a charm. And with 6 wonderful colours to choose from!" says one: "a great deal for those who want a lot out of a small package" says another. But then the spell is broken with a blurt of "Yay Tethering!!!" and before you know it the application has disappeared.
Nicholas is a one-man-band developer, and hasn't got back to us about his feelings on the matter. His half-dozen other apps are still listed so Apple obviously isn't too upset, though don't expect the next version of Handy Light to be similarly equipped. ®
Thanks, but no thanks.
My HTC comes with built in Tethering. Even if it didn't there are plenty on the Android marketplace, as we don't have artificial limits imposed in Android land...
Once again the Apple fanbois speak
As the title says, it must be you that is insecure - YOU, as a user, choose YOUR tools based on what solves YOUR problems best - not based on what some marketing video or droid have told you would be better.
Actually, do tell me what benefit the user get from being denied the possibility of tethering, solely because AT&T want more money for the exact same connection? And how do Apples statement of "We love our users" (from the press conference related to the antenna problems - http://www.iphonedownloadblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/We-Love-Our-Users.jpg) compare with the fact that Apple have supported AT&T on the tethering-issue, by banning applications that introduce tethering without paying the "AT&T Tax"...
And yes, I post anonymously, because fanboys are exceedingly stupid, and the Apple-kind of fanboys seems to become more and more insecure with each quarter that goes by with Apple increasing their share of the market and checkbook.
This could-have-been-anything trojan exposes the epic fail at the heart of Apple's approval process
This could-have-been-anything trojan exposes the epic fail at the heart of Apple's approval process, which merely takes as input a black-box executable. Anything you can do in iOS (in other words, anything that any of the 200,000 other Jabscreen apps can do) could have been performed by this app as its trojan payload. Apple's approval protects no-one. Android's code-based permission security gives a runtime error if the user has not granted permission for the required action. Install from the Jabscreen App Store and you could be subjected to anything.
Hey, another easy-to-tether smartphone...
Well, if it makes any difference, my Maemo-running N900 is also capable of tethering quite easily, albeit requiring a small (free) app to enable the service. So there you go, not just bashing by Android users, you have Maemo to help out as well ;O)
@ Sean Skidmarco Bumgravy
Quote: "At least Apple are pretty up-front about their control-freakery"
Yes, Apple are so open about it that they forbid developers from speaking about the terms of the iPhone developer agreement.