iPad tethering does disappearing trick
Now you see it, now it's billable
The last iOS beta for iPad had tethering, but that feature appears to have vanished, prompting speculation that it will fall under the control of the network operator.
The new version of iOS 4 is due out next month, bringing the multitasking and folders already available on the iPhone to the iPad. Beta versions have been knocking around for the last few weeks, much to the excitement of the Apple community, who've been scanning every new release for additional features. Beta 2 of iOS 4.2 had a tethering option in the network settings, but, as iPhoneHacks reports, the latest beta (version 3) lacks that option. But it's OK, 'cos Apple has replaced it with a load of shiny new wallpapers.
The new OS has made a load of tweaks to the iOS interface, as well as bringing Apple's version of multitasking to the iPad, but it's tethering that has proved most divisive. Network operators didn't like the iPhone contracts, with their unlimited data, being used for laptops which consume more bytes. This is why tethering doesn't exist as an option on every iPhone. One might think that would be less of an issue on an iPad, but while an iPad user can surf well enough, a laptop user might have half a dozen applications constantly on-line (IM, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and laptops aren't clever enough to restrict major updates to when one has a WiFi or cabled connection. Giving operators the option of disabling tethering makes sense.
We can't help feeling that anyone using an iPad as a gateway device, providing internet access to their laptop, has rather missed the point - and that most iPad users will prefer the additional (and higher resolution) backgrounds. Just in case you thought differently, here is a video from 9to5Mac showing just how exciting those new backgrounds are. Even the presenter struggles to feign enthusiasm:
Yup. Buy an Apple iPad if you like being locked into Sir Steve's whimsy
Buy anything else if you want free choices.
Handy demo in Dixons
Was in an airport the other day and had a little play on a demo iPad. I was pleased to see that some kind soul had already jailbroken it, installed Cydia, and the Bosspref equivalent of folders. I did chortle to myself at the ingenuity of whoever got there first..
Why wait for Apple's folders??
>Yes, you can jail-break my phone and enable tethering. But it's stealing
Since the network providers charge you for the data you use why is it stealing?
Blame the Operators
It is entirely the Operators fault.
Unlimited data should be unlimited. 500MB should be 500MB. The source of the request should be irrelevant, be it phone, tablet, laptop - the SIM owner has paid for a chunk of data, and should be able to use that chunk.
And let's face it - if you're smart enough to tether your laptop to your phone, you're smart enough to understand that your laptop AND your phone are going to use more data than just your phone - possibly more data than you've paid for (yes, OK, so your unlimited isn't unlimited, but perhaps if more people hit the limit the Operators would stop lying about "Unlimited".)
Tethering is none of their business
We used to have to put up with this kind of crap in contracts for fixed line domestic ISP use, e.g. telling us the connection could be used for a single computer only. So when I first configured a router on my connection to serve multiple computers I cloned the ethernet card MAC address on the router interface so the ISP couldn't tell any difference. Nowadays they don't bother, and even go so far as to throw in a router when you order a fixed connection.
It seems we now have to educate the mobile data carriers that we also don't appreciate them telling us how to use the data capacity they supply. Sure 500MB/month should mean that, and let them provide different rates at different prices and rate limit to keep you minimally connected if you use your allowance too quickly. But for a mobile operator to tell us what we can and can't use the bandwidth we pay them for is unwelcome interference in matters which are none of their business.