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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:

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