Feeds

Developer slips tethering into iTunes

Oi! Put that light out

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Hi-torque tank engines: EXTREME car hacking with The Register
Bentley found in a hedge gets WW2 lump insertion
Trousers down for six of the best affordable Androids
Stylish Googlephones for not-so-deep pockets
What's MISSING on Amazon Fire Phone... and why it WON'T set the world alight
You fought hard and you saved and earned. But all of it's going to burn...
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.