Yet another bug with the new iOS, people. If you are an iPhone 3G user who has officially unlocked your handset to migrate to another carrier that Apple has not partnered with, you may be better off holding back on your iOS 4.2.1 update. This is because a number of users, primarily from Europe, who have made the upgrade have noticed that the update has caused the Internet tethering options on their phone to disappear!
This could be annoying because many of these users pay for the tethering option. Apparently, the bug is because the new iOS does not carry forward the carrier settings when making the update. If you are on a carrier that is contracted with Apple, this should happen seamlessly and you may not be affected. However, iPhone users on other carriers lose the tethering options on their handset completely. The issue does not seem to have affected iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 users.
Apple has not acknowledged the issue so far and the only fix right now appears to be downgrading your iPhone to the older iOS 4.1 firmware. In case that is not a process you are comfortable with, you do not have an option but to wait for an official fix to come your way.
If you are a T-Mobile subscriber in the United States who does not yet own one of those tethering-supported handsets like G2 and myTouch, then get ready to experience this new feature starting tomorrow – November 14. T-Mobile’s new tethering data plan that will available to subscribers of the $29.99 a month Web-Unlimited data plan can be availed at a price of $14.99 a month. That’s a steep fee considering that the same functionality is available for free on the newer handsets. Nevertheless, if you should have this functionality enabled, you at least have an option now.
Besides tethering, T-Mobile is also noted to be launching two new data plans starting tomorrow. These Even More plans will be bringing a 1500 and 3000 minute voice calling plan at a monthly cost of $79.99 and $149.99 respectively. Both these plans include unlimited texting and data messaging.
Microsoft had indicated prior to the launch of their Windows Phone 7 devices that they shall not be offering USB tethering on launch and that it will be enabled sometime down the line. But now it looks like at least Samsung Focus (or Samsung Omnia 7 outside the US) are in for some luck. Some users have discovered a simple trick that can bring USB tethering to their WP7 handsets.
If you are a Omnia 7 user, this is what you should be doing
Step 1 : From the phone’s dialer, key in ##634##
Step 2 : You will be taken to the phone’s diagnostic menu. Here, key in *#7284# in the menu that appears
Step 3 : Navigate through to the “Modem, Tethered Call” option. Follow the on-screen instructions to find the USB Tethering option.
Once activated, users will be able to use their Windows Phone 7 handset as a internet hotspot. Do note that some users do not seem to be getting it to work. So, if you do manage to enable USB tethering, don’t forget to write in the comments about how it went.
Motorola Droid 2 users already enjoy the ability to tether their Android phone to a computer wirelessly. But if you are looking for a wired alternative, that may be coming soon. Leaked screenshots of an upcoming ROM build have revealed that Droid 2 users will be getting this alternative to the mobile hotspot facility as an OS update.
The update is expected to bring two more significant features to Droid 2 – a Home Screen launcher and a new Profiles section in the Launcher. The Profiles section is very similar to what you already see on the Motorola Droid Pro and will let users to easily switch between several setups for the homescreen. For instance, you may have one theme set up for workplace, another for home etc. and this new feature will help you easily switch between these.
There is no word on when this update will be released.
If you own a T-Mobile G2, you may have been left wondering why you still do not have the much touted Wi-Fi calling functionality on your Android phone when lesser priced models like the Optimus T come with the facility. News is now in that T-Mobile is now rolling out this new functionality to G2 users starting November 3 through an Over-The-Air update. The update is expected to reach all users between the 3rd and 8th of this month.
The OTA for Wi-Fi calling would also bring another much anticipated feature – the ability to set up your G2 as a mobile hotspot and tether other computers. That is significant because the carrier had only recently introduced its new data plans that will bring tethering available to smartphone users. If you are looking for one such plan, you should be ready to shell out $30 a month for the Web Unlimited plan that can be expanded to include tethering services at a cost of $14.99 a month. Details here.
A leaked internal memo from T-Mobile had revealed last week about the imminent launch of an unlimited tethering plan for T-Mobile subscribers. That rumor has turned out to be true as the carrier has now announced this offer at a monthly cost of $14.99. If you didn’t know already, tethering lets you to connect your mobile phone to any other internet capable device like a computer or laptop to surf the web on these devices using the mobile phone’s wireless network.
The tethering plan is however not available to all users. The T-Mobile media statement notes that only subscribers of the $30 a month “Web – Unlimited” plan can avail this offering by paying the additional $14.99 fee. The tethering does not require the user to connect their device to the computer with cables and instead is done wirelessly. In other words, the tethering plan will let users set up their mobile phones as Wi-Fi hotspots.
American network provider, T-Mobile is expected to announce a new tethering option for its smartphone subscribers starting early next month. According to a leaked internal T-Mobile memo, the option will be part of a new plan called “Tethering and Wi-Fi Sharing Add-On” that will let users connect their smartphones to other internet-supported devices like a laptop or netbook to surf the internet from these devices. It is expected to cost $14.99 a month.
A few points to note from the memo. Firstly, the plan will only be applicable on those HSPA and HSPA+ smartphones that are subscribed to one of the unlimited web plans available at a montly fee of $19.95 or higher. Secondly, if you have already configured your device for tethering in the past, you need to buy a new plan. Finally, the data consumed over tethering will be accounted in the 5GB usage limit. Breaching this, T-Mobile should be throttling your speed.
All of this information is not official however. T-Mobile continues to stay mum over the leak. Expect an official announcement soon.
Looks like these are happy times for the T-Mobile G2 fans. We just reported about the new phone getting a massive discount in selling price on Amazon. Following upon this news, we are hearing rumors that T-Mobile could soon be sending an Over-The-Air update to the newly launched phone that could bring two important features – the ability to call over Wi-Fi as well as the ability to connect your G2 to a PC to surf the internet – what is commonly known as tethering.
Well, while this is still a rumor at this point, do note that the T-Mobile G2 runs on Android 2.2 which natively supports internet tethering. However this functionality was left unsupported to start with. Also, the Wi-Fi calling functionality is not exclusive. T-Mobile has in fact indicated that this functionality will be made available on all of their future Android handsets. Nevertheless, this new update should get features that are pretty popular to the G2 users. One may however be left wondering if the rumored introduction of these features have got anything to do with what is seen as a modest sale numbers. Isn’t that also the reported reason why Amazon too has chosen to slash the prices?
Earlier this month, there were reports that suggested that Microsoft could be offering the USB tethering functionality on Windows Phone 7. This must have got many of you excited considering that many carriers, at least in the US, offering tethering as a value-added service at extremely steep rates of $20 to $30 a month.
The excitement died a little when it was later revealed that it was up to the carriers to either enable or disable the feature on their networks. However, it now appears that the whole announcement could be wrong. Microsoft has come out with a statement letting us know that the USB tethering functionality shall not be provided on Windows Phone 7; at least in the initial phase of launch. Apparently, this was a feature “on the bubble” before Microsoft moved to the final RTM phase. Microsoft has dismissed the speculations as misinformation.
Regardless, now that we know that the new Windows Phone 7 is not going to come with one of its core USPs, I wonder if this is going to be a deal-breaker.
If this rumor turns out to be true, Microsoft could be setting the benchmark on what has primarily been a carrier-bullied feature – the ability to tether your device to a PC or another internet capable device without the need to pay additional fee for doing so. Most smartphones today allow USB tethering. But the trouble is that this feature is enabled by the carrier after the user pays an additional monthly fee in the range of $20-$30. Despite paying such a significant fee, tethering does not get users any additional data bandwidth proving to be a costly money-milking exercise from carriers.
With Windows Phone 7, Microsoft could be making it easy for users to tether their phone to a laptop or netbook and get started on browsing the internet without having to pay any additional fee to the carrier. According to Richard Dudley, a Windows development evangelist, this is the official word. Nevertheless, it makes sense to wait for the official ‘official word‘ before we get too excited.