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Cellphones Hardware Hacking Apple Build

USB Tethering Working On iPhone 3.0 Through Hack 219

Posted by samzenpus
from the make-it-work dept.
eviltangerine writes "Twitter user stroughtonsmith was dickering around with the carrier bundle files for his developer version of the iPhone 3.0 OS and enabled the USB tethering options. Apparently he has even been able to use his laptop to access the internet over the USB tether. MacRumors comments that while Apple has announced the availability of tethering, it hasn't hashed out the details with the mobile carriers (probably so they can charge more in fees). No word on connection speed, but here are some pictures of his phone while tethering."
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USB Tethering Working On iPhone 3.0 Through Hack

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  • Grrrrrrr (Score:5, Funny)

    by intheshelter (906917) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @08:13AM (#27253801)

    No haters have piled on here yet so I'll fill in for them. . . .

    Apple is the devil. I have this feature on my Nintendo 64. My blackberry has a direct T-1 to God. Etc. Etc.

    • Re:Grrrrrrr (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Shakrai (717556) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @08:36AM (#27253989) Journal

      Apple is the devil

      Apple has nothing on the wireless industry. This is the same industry that disables features that compete with their business model "for your protection", charges nearly as much to send a 160 character SMS as it would cost me to mail a letter across the country, sticks people with five digit bills when their device gets stolen, charges five times as much for minutes over your allowance as they do for your allowance minutes and locks you into long term contracts using the "subsidy" of the phone as an excuse even when you bring your own phone.

      In short, if the revolution comes, the wireless carriers will be up against the wall right after we finish with the Wall Street Executives and RIAA lawyers.

      • by geekmux (1040042) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @09:18AM (#27254453)

        Apple is the devil

        Apple has nothing on the wireless industry. This is the same industry that disables features that compete with their business model "for your protection", charges nearly as much to send a 160 character SMS as it would cost me to mail a letter across the country, sticks people with five digit bills when their device gets stolen, charges five times as much for minutes over your allowance as they do for your allowance minutes and locks you into long term contracts using the "subsidy" of the phone as an excuse even when you bring your own phone.

        In short, if the revolution comes, the wireless carriers will be up against the wall right after we finish with the Wall Street Executives and RIAA lawyers.

        I'm sorry I couldn't hear you over the obscene laughter coming from all the wireless execs.

        The only thing that will force a revolution in this industry is when you convince the entire teen population that cell phones are no longer hip, cool, or useful. Don't even get me started on teens and text messaging and their "need" to have 15000 texts a month freedoms.

        Until then, wireless companies will continue to enjoy the fruits of your addiction. Oh, and if you really feel you're being "robbed" these days, feel free to dig up a phone plan circa 1996 to compare current usage against.

        • by Shakrai (717556) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @09:26AM (#27254561) Journal

          The only thing that will force a revolution in this industry is when you convince the parents of the entire teen population not to pay for shit their kids don't need.

          Fixed that for you ;)

          • by geekmux (1040042)

            The only thing that will force a revolution in this industry is when you convince the parents of the entire teen population not to pay for shit their kids don't need.

            Fixed that for you ;)

            Wow. Do I ever stand corrected. Your statement is so true it's painful.

            • by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @10:59AM (#27255971) Homepage Journal
              "The only thing that will force a revolution in this industry is when you convince the parents of the entire teen population not to pay for shit their kids don't need.

              Fixed that for you ;)

              Wow. Do I ever stand corrected. Your statement is so true it's painful."

              I hear ya. It seems that today's parents have forgotten one of the most important words in their vocabulary...NO

              It seems parental units, somewhere along the years, have forgotten that THEY and ONLY THEY are in charge in a household. Things like toys, cell phones, video games, etc...are luxuries that are doled out as their option, they are not 'rights' that children have.

              I think that's why I seem to observer so many kids today with the sense of entitlement to all these things, rather than being grateful that they have a few luxuries. The kids seem to run the adults lives...rather than the other way around.

              Don't get me wrong, if a person chooses to have children, they do need to prepare themselves for the personal and financial sacrifice that goes with it. But, that doesn't mean that you no longer rule the roost so to speak.

              • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

                by kkwst2 (992504)

                While I certainly agree with this in principle, having texting available for your teen can be extremely useful for the parent as well. I often need to reach them and they don't answer their phone. Sometimes they're out of range, sometimes they just don't want to answer.

                If I text them, I know they got it and they generally respond right away. I can also text them from my computer without a cell phone and the responses come back to my email.

                Then when they have it, they get inundated with texts from other k

                • I often need to reach them and they don't answer their phone. Sometimes they're out of range, sometimes they just don't want to answer.

                  If your child isn't answering the phone when you call, you need to return the phone to the store you bought it from. Tell your child the device isn't succeeding at fulfilling the purpose for which you purchased it. If your teenager has a job and bought the phone himself / herself, then it is the child's choice of when to answer the phone.

                  Seth

        • by WCguru42 (1268530)

          Oh, and if you really feel you're being "robbed" these days, feel free to dig up a phone plan circa 1996 to compare current usage against.

          I don't really care about what I got charged over a decade ago, I care about the fact that a text message costs so much more per kb of data sent than a phone conversation. I care that certain companies turn off their bluetooth to pc connectivity to keep you from uploading your own songs as ringtones, I care that there's any amount of text messaging done in a month that could rack up a bill over $1000 (not to mention that girl that got the $4000 bill). 1996 is way back in the day, when cell phone use wasn'

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by wolrahnaes (632574)

        I'm with you right up to the part about being locked in when you bring your own phone. I've been on AT&T for four years now without ever being under contract, and no I am not on a "GoPhone" prepaid, it's a normal postpaid account even loaded up with features like laptop tethering.

        It's easy, I've been through four phones in that time and never once bought one subsidized, so if another GSM provider ever sprung up (or T-Mobile got a network that was worth a shit outside of cities) I could jump in a heartb

        • by Shakrai (717556)

          I've been on AT&T for four years now without ever being under contract, and no I am not on a "GoPhone" prepaid

          Then you got in before they changed their policy. I tried to get AT&T service without a contract using my unlocked GSM phone and was told by four different people (salesperson, store manager, CSR on the 800 number and her manager) that it couldn't be done.

          or T-Mobile got a network that was worth a shit outside of cities

          T-Mobile actually has a way to do it now, but you've just answered why it's hard to do business with them. Of course, IMHO AT&T is the worst of the worst. Around these parts (and others) they are in the process of moving GSM service off the 850

          • I'm not denying the legitimacy of complaints about swapping frequencies, but I personally don't care. I've been carrying a 3G phone since 2006 and welcome the greater range for the future at the cost of the past.

            As for Verizon screwing over customers, one could argue their crippled phones screw customers daily, rather than just in network transitions as AT&T has done in the past and seems to be doing again. Verizon also did kinda screw over hundreds of thousands of OnStar customers when they turned of

            • by Shakrai (717556)

              I'm not denying the legitimacy of complaints about swapping frequencies, but I personally don't care. I've been carrying a 3G phone since 2006 and welcome the greater range for the future at the cost of the past.

              The sad thing is that they have enough spectrum with the 850mhz licenses to run both but decided not to.

              Verizon also did kinda screw over hundreds of thousands of OnStar customers when they turned off analog service.

              Well that's kind of ironic since you just said you don't care about the past but didn't AT&T and others also shut down their AMPS networks? If there's any blame to affix here it probably belongs to the FCC.

              they'll finally be compatible with a real mobile phone system

              IS-2000 isn't a "real" mobile phone system? It has it's drawbacks (international roaming) but the advantages of CDMA (capacity) are so compelling that the next generation GSM standard uses it as

      • by erroneus (253617)

        We are quite close and yet quite far away from such a revolution. And they are quite ingenious when it comes to preventing one. As long as we see "angry senators" hammering at executives, there will be no revolution. It doesn't matter if the angry senators bit is just an act and that nothing ever comes from it. As long as we see "leadership reflecting our feelings" we feel better about it... the results are secondary or even irrelevant.

    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      We never said Apple was the devil. We said that Steve Jobs is the Anti-Christ, here to lead his wild-eyed cult followers into a thousand-year reign of terror and suffering.

      Don't put words in our mouths.

    • by Bandman (86149)

      God needs a bandwidth upgrade...

    • by mdwh2 (535323)

      No haters, just hater-haters.

      I have this feature on my Nintendo 64. My blackberry has a direct T-1 to God. Etc. Etc.

      The point is, we don't have endless articles about "Nintendo 64 can do this", "Blackberry can access the Internet!" Consider - you're complaining because there's an occasional comment from someone who says a particular device can do such and such, but with the Iphone, we get an endless stream everytime it has some trivial non-new feature added, or even if there's just a rumour or wishlist, or

  • Wtf is tethering? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 19, 2009 @08:14AM (#27253815)

    Wtf is tethering?

    • Re:Wtf is tethering? (Score:5, Informative)

      by codegen (103601) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @08:17AM (#27253833) Journal

      Wtf is tethering?

      Connecting your computer to the internet using your phone as a data modem.

      • by rackserverdeals (1503561) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @08:22AM (#27253881) Homepage Journal

        Wtf is tethering?

        Connecting your computer to the internet using your phone as a data modem.

        You sure? I thought it involved leather outfits and a ball gag.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by pacinpm (631330)

        Hmm, I was sure every modern mobile handset has this feature anabled by default. And what network operator has to do with it anyway? It's not his business what I do with MY phone and connection I have already PAID.

        At least it works like that in Europe.

        • sorry to inform you that Vodafone had always had a 2euro/week plan for "unlimited internet" on "selected application only" (aka only on your phone) and a 45euros/month plan for unlimited internet no string attached.

          I think that the same applies to AT&T and others USA carriers, judging on what others around here say: the iphone plan is almost cheap only because you could not get the phone attached as a data modem, and this is clearly stated in the purchasing contract so the "PAID" part of your post does
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by marsu_k (701360)
            You are getting seriously ripped off. I pay 10e/month for unlimited use-as-you-see-fit data @384kbps. 1Mbps costs 20e/month and 2Mbps 30e/month, but so far I haven't had the need to have faster access when I can't find a hotspot.
      • by mikael (484)

        From all of comments about the charges mobile phone operators charge, it would seem to make more sense to connect your phone to the internet using your computer as a data modem.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          The idea here is that cell phone have a much wider access than wireless networks. At any given location, there's a much greater probability that you will have a cell signal than a wireless signal. Thus, by tethering you can have internet access for your computer wherever. Having the computer on the internet is important because it has a much wider feature set than your phone.

          I never bought an iphone because of the monthly rates, but if you're already paying AT&T 70 bucks a month for data service, I
      • by mdwh2 (535323)

        Thanks for the info, I was curious myself - to be honest I assumed it must be something more advanced that that. When I connect my cheap old phone to my computer via USB as a modem, as people have been doing for years, I don't even think of it as a feature. But then again, I didn't think of copy/paste being a feature, until Apple announced it in a future version...

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's when you attach the USB cord to the iPhone and spin it around in a circle like crazy. This generates a reality distortion field which allows your laptop to connect to the Internet.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by necro81 (917438)
  • It's wrong that.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by anilg (961244) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @08:22AM (#27253879)

    ..a closed platform opening up brings news.. whereas other open (and closed) platforms have had this for a long time. The Apple RDF is strong..

    • by jabithew (1340853)

      It's still news, it's just of an about-friggin-time nature.

    • ..a closed platform opening up brings news.. whereas other open (and closed) platforms have had this for a long time. The Apple RDF is strong..

      This is a significant development for many in the the large and growing iPhone userbase. Your claim that because others did it first that it's not newsworthy is just antifanboyism dressed up as open-source cheerleading. Do we not report on China's space program, because the US did it first?

      • by anilg (961244)

        Not so much antifanboism as much as a comment on the sad state of the industry. Too bad you didnt see my comment the way I meant it..

      • by Nick Ives (317)

        No, it's just sad that every time Apple adds new features to the iPhone it's news, especially when these are standard features for all other phones. Note: phones, not smart-phones.

        I remember first using my phones GPRS connection to go online using a laptop six or seven years ago. I'd just moved and didn't have time to get BT to reactivate the line so I used GPRS for a couple of weeks, racking up £80 in data charges! I actually can't remember the phone; it was the first MMS phone that Vodaphone b

      • It would be like covering everything that China did, and not mentioning other countries at all.

        I mean, can you point me to the stories for every single other make of phone out there, where it was announced that they can do this?

  • by Phoenix (2762) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @08:31AM (#27253945)

    I do that on AT&T with a Sony Ericsson W350i. Now I have the unlimited data option on my account and thus there is no charge for the tethering to my laptop with my USB cable.

    It shows up in my statement every time I use the service and every bit that passes gets documented in my bill (it's darn thick).

    Thus it beggars the question of why Apple hasn't activated the feature on their phone with the only carrier that is *allowed* (AT&T) to use the phone in the United States, when the carrier in question already allows this function on other phones.

    Greed? Stupidity? Both?

    Phoenix

    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      Simple. Apple bullied AT&T into offering an "unlimited" data plan so the iPhone could be used to it's fullest extent. Naturally AT&T doesn't want to make it actually unlimited so they limit it -- by not allowing you to use that data on anything but the little screen on your iPhone.

      Now I, being in Canada and paying for my very much limited data plan, should be free to do whatever I want with it. But I'm not.

      • Partially wrong.

        All smartphones have unlimited data (or "unlimited" as the case may be) anymore, no matter the provider (in the US at least, your providers in Canada seem to enjoy causing pain to their customers), since that's what users expect. It's not specific to the iPhone nor a result of any Apple bullying.

        If you want official full tethering support, you need what AT&T calls "LaptopConnect" for which I pay $50 (note I do not have a smartphone, just a nice 3G phone with tethering support, so the sm

        • by ceoyoyo (59147)

          "All smartphones have unlimited data (or "unlimited" as the case may be) anymore"

          I assume you mean all smartphones have unlimited data NOW. How do you suppose that came about? It wasn't the case when the iPhone was released. So no, I'm not partially wrong. Here are some articles written around the time of the iPhone release. Unlimited data plans (particularly unlimited plans at reasonable prices) were not at all universal:

          http://www.mobileindustryreview.com/2007/11/o2s_iphone_unlimited_data_unlimited_w [mobileindustryreview.com]

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          Dumbphone Data - Typically a "walled garden" with minimal full internet access, proxy usage often required, basically built for streaming applications on phones and minimal web access/email with a WAP browser

          Smartphone Data - No more walled garden, but officially limited by policy.

          Tethering Data - Same as above, but no policy limits on use. Often bandwidth capped around 5GB.

          The latter two are provisioned identically on the network side, any differences are in billing. They may also monitor for usage that is

          • by anethema (99553)

            Here in Canada on Rogers, our 6GB plan fully allows tethering but it is still a NAT'd IP. It is another $10/mo for a routable IP. They call this the "VPN" option.

      • by anethema (99553)

        There is at least 1 major falsehood in your post, probably two.

        1. AT&T having unlimited data. The data is not unlimited it is capped at 5GB, but they of course don't really advertise this.

        2. Your Canadian data plan being restricted in any way other than a very boldly stated cap.

        I pay $30 for 6GB (better than the 'unlimited' in the USA you'll notice). They don't offer this anymore, but at the time it was available for any smartphone, including iPhone and Blackberry. Tethering and using every bit right up

        • by ceoyoyo (59147)

          1. Uh, that's why I put "unlimited" in quotes. The plan is advertised as unlimited, but clearly it isn't. I wasn't aware there was an explicit cap, but I certainly expected they'd smack your hands for using too much data. Still, they're obviously hoping nobody actually uses that much with an untethered phone.

          2. My Canadian data plan IS being restricted, because I can't tether my iPhone. I didn't say Rogers/Fido was doing the restricting. I SHOULD be able to use that 6 GB (I have the same plan) however

    • by db32 (862117)
      Funny...when I talked to AT&T they said tethering was an extra $30/month. The tethering has nothing to do with Apple other than AT&T screaming at them "Don't you dare let iPhone users tether!"

      Incidentally AT&T lies through their damned teeth about this. They explicitly say that any form of tethering is impossible with the iPhone. Yet there are multiple apps for jailbroken phones that allow wifi tethering. There was even one that made it into the official App store until Apple removed it.
  • by nullhero (2983) *

    (probably so they can charge more in fees)

    I have an iPhone and I have to pay the manditory fee for an all I can eat data plan. Why should I have to pay more? I know...I know...they want more money. But here in the States AT&T could really gain more customers, more $$$, if they included text messaging with the data plan, and just let us connect our computers to the Internet via the phone.

    But they are a short-sighted company, rather than gaining customers as fans they nickel and dime us to death!

    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      You've paid the fee for an unlimited-on-a-little-phone-screen plan. You didn't think it was actually unlimited, as in no limits whatsoever, did you?

      • by nullhero (2983) *

        No, not really but I do think it would make good business sense. The more you make your customers happy; the more loyal customers you have. Retention should always be more important to a company from a customer service perspective.

        And considering AT&T is the only carrier of the iPhone they kind of have me by the balls. Forced retention.

        But, trust me, if the iPhone is ever offered by other carriers then I'm switching in a heart beat. And I'll pay any early termination fees to get away from AT&T.

        • by ceoyoyo (59147)

          Yes, yes really. When you signed up it would have been specified that your "unlimited" plan included only data accessed on your phone.

          It's great to say that making the customer happy should be the most important thing to a company, but you have to keep it reasonable. Do you think AT&T would have happier customers if they restrict tethering on the iPhone, by blocking it or charging extra for it, or if their data network is dead slow or constantly unavailable because of congestion?

          AT&T bet that you'

          • by nullhero (2983) *

            You really can't expect to get unlimited wireless Internet for approximately the same price as a wired connection.

            Why not? If my wired connection costs the same amount as my wireless connection and I can connect multiple computers without an additional fee then why charge me more for my wireless plan to tether my computer to my phone for mostly Internet access?

            Of course I agree with you that they probably will put caps on it. But my point is if they lose the exclusivity on the iPhone there are other carriers that would be more than happy to offer better deals for iPhone users. This wildly in the future. (And a simple h

            • by ceoyoyo (59147)

              "Why not?"

              Are you serious? Your wired connection costs your ISP $A/byte to provide. Your wireless connection costs $B/byte to provide, where $B >> $A. See why you can't expect them to be the same price AND allow the same amount of usage? The reason you're not allowed to tether your phone is that almost everybody would use WAY more data if they did. I certainly would. If you gave me an unlimited wireless 3G data plan with tethering I'd probably just run it flat out for a good part of the day and

          • by cayenne8 (626475)
            "It's great to say that making the customer happy should be the most important thing to a company, but you have to keep it reasonable. Do you think AT&T would have happier customers if they restrict tethering on the iPhone, by blocking it or charging extra for it, or if their data network is dead slow or constantly unavailable because of congestion?

            AT&T bet that you'd rather have data access just on your phone as opposed to effectively no access at all. They went with the no-tethering-at-all optio

            • by ceoyoyo (59147)

              Sure, you can tether other phones. At twice the price of the data plan on the iPhone. You seem to expect that you should get it for no addition fee. That's just irrational.

  • It seems sill when my 240â Nokia "Average Joe" 3G phone can do most of what it can and more... Using it as a Bluetooth modem is no issue.

    The iPhone is a great phone, but lets face it: It's not that feature-packed or open. It's just a well designed product.

  • I'd imagine the iPhone carriers are paranoid about tethering. When its a few alpha-geeks and their crackberries, no problem.

    But when its every tom-dick-and harriet with an iPhone, and a simple one-click "turn on" setup, the bandwidth usage you are talking about is extreme. iPhone users are already so much worse than crackberry users, giving them a link to their computer and you are talking about traffic-in-the-extreme.

    Thus, easily expcet it to be a ~$30-40/month option.

    • How's it any easier than other phones? On a WinMo phone you run the internet sharing app. On my SE K850i it's a simple matter of pairing over Bluetooth and saying "connect to network" or plugging in the USB cable and choosing "phone mode" on the phone. In either case, a virtual ethernet port appears on my computer and gets an IP address via DHCP.

  • If you have an Android DevPhone or a "rooted" T-Mobile G1 you can use the free application aNetShare [a0soft.com] to tether via WiFi.

    (Other wifi tethering applications are available, I have nothing to do with the software, just a happy user)

  • I have a G1. What I really don't get is why on Earth the two 'new' hot phone platforms (iphone & android) screw their costumers like this in order to server better the telcos.

    Ok. I do get how they do that. I just wish *someone* would release a phone with out-of-the-box support for tethering and VoIP.

    It is amazing how many huge companies seem to be fighting for this market place, and how none seems interested in actually delivering what people want.

    • by W2k (540424)

      Ok. I do get how they do that. I just wish *someone* would release a phone with out-of-the-box support for tethering and VoIP.

      Windows Mobile smartphones and PDAs support tethering out of the box; all the ones I've owned anyway. As for VoIP, depends on what client you wanna use, but Skype has a free WM client and since WM phones usually aren't locked down very hard (being targeted at business users rather than Joe Sixpack) you can just install whatever you need.

      • Windows Mobile smartphones and PDAs support tethering out of the box; all the ones I've owned anyway. As for VoIP, depends on what client you wanna use, but Skype has a free WM client and since WM phones usually aren't locked down very hard (being targeted at business users rather than Joe Sixpack) you can just install whatever you need.

        I have heard about this, and also that Nokias will offer Skype support.

        I have to admit that I always looked down at the iphone as a "fashion phone that represented a regression in terms of user lock-in", but now I own a G1 and have found that Google decided to lock its users more or less just as much as Apple.

        I just don't know which phone architecture provides a decent platform. Android and iphone provide good SDKs for development, while AFAIK Symbian's sucks. I can hack tethering support on my G1 through U

  • Open "Internet Sharing".
    Select USB | Bluetooth.
    Click "Connect".

    That's about it.

    Why do so many things that should be simple to do become so bizarrely difficult and tortuous on Apple devices? So much so, in fact, that when people figure out ways around Apple's boneheadedness it becomes "news"*?

    * See also: Spontaneous cheers for introducing cut and paste on a handheld computer in 2009.

    • Spontaneous cheers for introducing cut and paste on a handheld computer in 2009.

      Those weren't cheers about the feature as much as they were cheers that those people would no longer have to spend an hour a day posting online about how copy and paste are useless on a cell phone. That'll free up a lot of time for 320x480 browsing.

  • The writer thinks that it means something which it does not:

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dicker [reference.com]

    The dictionary does, however, define "dick around" as "to spend time idly; fool around."

  • Amazing, tethering AND cut-and-paste. At this rate, the iPhone may actually support most industry standard features is, oh, less than a decade.

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