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A Irish iPhone hacker and beta tester discovered the new tethering settings in the OS v3.0. This is the tethering home screen.  (Source: Apple Insider)
The new iPhone OS brings the possibility of tethering if carriers approve it

With the official announcement of the iPhone OS v3.0 there has been much excitement over the new features, which include MMS support, copy cut and paste, turn-by-turn directions (via third-party hardware), FM radio support (via third-party hardware), and new Bluetooth support.  One feature that didn't receive much attention was tethering.

Apple said at the press event for the new OS that it would be allowing tethering and has built the functionality into the new OS.  However, whether or not you can use this functionality is entirely dependent on whether your carrier chooses to support it, and thus far AT&T, the official iPhone carrier in the U.S., has announced no plans to do so.

Still, those interested in how the tethering will work will take interest in this news.  Irish programmer Steve Troughton, an iPhone hacker and OS v3.0 beta tester, became the first to see the new tethering features.  He accidentally unlocked the features when overwriting his carrier, O2's, Carrier Settings file.

The result was an options screen for a tethered connection.  The connection could be turned on by either connecting via USB or Bluetooth and then sliding the a slide bar to "on".  When tethered the phone displays a message beneath the clock -- "Internet Tethering" -- to remind the user that their phone is tethered and is consuming data.

For some carriers outside the U.S., like Rogers Wireless (Canada), tethering should be a breeze to support, as they already offer tethered connections to their smart phone models.  AT&T, however, has not confirmed a time table or stated that it has any concrete plans for such a scheme yet on the iPhone.



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RE: Changing your mind?
By JasonMick (blog) on 3/20/2009 9:43:32 AM , Rating: 1
Sorry for being ambiguous before, but what I meant by "failed to deliver" with tethering was that they announced no official plans and hardly acknowledged it until the Q&A. It is a feature in the new OS, but itll only be useful if AT&T will support it. And I wouldn't hold my breath on AT&T coming through real soon -- probably they will eventually, but who knows how long it will be.


RE: Changing your mind?
By ltcommanderdata on 3/20/2009 10:03:44 AM , Rating: 3
Well AT&T is starting to crack on the unlocking issue so there may be hope yet. They'll no doubt hold off for as long as they can though.


RE: Changing your mind?
By michael2k on 3/20/2009 12:27:27 PM , Rating: 2
I think the only reason they held back was the lack of infrastructure. If they could charge an extra $45 a month to allow tethering, I think they would.

But all the internet usage statistics from the last two years tells us that the iPhone sucked a lot of data even without tethering.


RE: Changing your mind?
By bhieb on 3/20/2009 10:27:15 AM , Rating: 2
What is odd is that I used to tether my Tilt all the time on Att, so I don't think they explicitly block it.


RE: Changing your mind?
By AlexWade on 3/20/2009 11:55:40 AM , Rating: 2
I tether my Blackberry Bold without a tethering plan. AT&T has not said a word of complaint about it. AT&T has many flaws, being uptight is not one of them in my experience.


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