iPhone 4.0 Beta Hints At AT&T Tethering, Finally

The fourth beta of the iPhone 4.0 OS hints that AT&T might finally enable Internet tethering, after the carrier failed to activate the feature for almost a year since Apple introduced the capability.

On Tuesday night, Apple released to developers another beta of the upcoming iPhone 4.0 OS (the fourth beta, for those keeping count). Developers with access to the program quickly started to report on the various new features they found--most significantly AT&T tethering.

Internet tethering capabilities let you share your phone's Internet connection with your laptop via Bluetooth or USB. The iPhone received this feature last summer, with the introduction of the iPhone OS 3.0. But AT&T has not enabled the feature for its U.S. users, as this is believed to over-tax the carrier's network.

However, the wait could soon be over. A developer spotted a new configuration page for Internet tethering (pictured, via MacRumors) in the latest iPhone 4.0 beta. This page tells AT&T customers that they need to contact the carrier or go on its Web site to activate the feature.

It is widely believed that this popup message is a clear indication that AT&T is about to enable iPhone tethering. International iPhone users see a similar message when they want to enable tethering on their iPhones, with their respective carriers' details.

For the lucky overseas iPhone users who can get tethering, the feature doesn't come free. Carriers are charging for Internet tethering as a bolt-on to regular contracts, and it can cost up to $15 extra per month for 3GB of data (30 cents per additional MB).

But not everyone thinks that AT&T will enable tethering on the iPhone this summer, when the final iPhone OS 4.0 is delivered. Alexander Vaughn of AppAdvice writes that the tethering popup in the latest beta is just a glitch. He argues that a carrier setting update is how your iPhone can tell if a specific carrier supports tethering and act accordingly, without the need for a firmware update.

Developers also found some other changes to the latest iPhone OS 4.0 beta, such as default folder for utility apps (Clock, Calculator, Compass, and Voice Memo), new wallpapers, group messaging options, and orientation lock for the Camera Roll. The previous (third) beta of iPhone OS 4.0 also revealed orientation lock capability and basic iPod controls in the springboard.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs demoed in April some other significant iPhone OS 4.0 features coming this summer, such as multitasking, folders, a game center, and an iBooks app.

Follow PCWorld and Daniel on Twitter.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags at&ttetheringiPhone 4.0

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Daniel Ionescu

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?