Apple has approved a tethering application from Tether.com called iTether in the App Store. The iPhone app is a companion app for the Mac and PC versions, which allows users to use their iPhone’s data connection to surf the internet on a Mac or PC over USB.
Apple has previously banned such applications from the App Store possibly due to pressure from carriers like AT&T, Verizon and Sprint who offer tethering plans for $20 per month that can be used using the Personal Hotspot feature that is available for iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS users. In the case of iTether users have to pay only a one-time fee of $14.99, which is the cost of the app and no recurring fees.
Here’s a quick description of the app from the App Store:
Tether is an application that allows your Mac and PC to take advantage of your smartphone’s data plan, providing you access to the Internet on your laptop anywhere there is cellular coverage from your smartphone.
Tether is easy to install, easy to use, works practically anywhere, and is very cost-effective.
To download the PC software visit: http://tether.com/i/Tether-iPhone.exe
To download the Mac software visit: http://tether.com/i/Tether-iPhone.dmg
It is widely speculated that Apple will remove the iPhone app from the App Store and the approval was a mistake by Apple’s app review staff. However, Tether claims:
“We were very clear with Apple what our app did. They asked us a bunch of questions and then approved us.”
It won’t be the first time if Apple pulls the app from the App Store. Back in 2008, Apple had briefly approved a similar tethering app called NetShare into the App Store, only to remove it within a few hours. Since then we’ve seen jailbreak apps such as MyWi that offer the personal hotspot functionality and incidentally is also one of the main reasons why users jailbreak their iPhone.
So download iTether using this App Store link before it is removed if you want to enjoy tethering for a one-time fee.
Strange, but the app is still available in the App Store. Is Apple okay with the apps that allow USB tethering? We wonder what carriers like AT&T think about it.
It looks like Apple has pulled the app from the App Store. You now get the following error message when you click on the App Store link. Thanks JB Wi for the heads up.
If you managed to download it before it was pulled then you don’t need to worry, it will continue to work for you.
[via 9 to 5 Mac]