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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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144012-android_market_pdanet.jpg


Image from Engadget
Droid Life reports (via Engadget) that U.S. carriers have recently stepped up their efforts to crack down on Android apps that permit users to create Wi-Fi mobile hotspots by tethering to their mobile phone and using the device's data connection.
After receiving a tip that Verizon may be blocking Wireless Tether from the market, I decided to do a little digging on the variety of devices I own. Sure enough, from all of my phones, including the Nexus S I have running on AT&T, I was unable to find Wireless Tether in the market. So to see what was really going on, I jumped into the browser-based Android Market to see if I could find the app and definitely did. But what you are seeing, is my list of devices, all of which cannot accept this app.
One of the main promotional points of Android as its popularity has soared has been the unregulated nature of the app marketplaces for the platform. As opposed to Apple's belief that customers are better served by a marketplace in which Apple serves as the gatekeeper to ensure that apps meet certain standards, Android has been much more of a free-for-all with developers free to release nearly any type of application for use on compatible devices.

As Android has gained in popularity, however, things have begun to tighten up, with Google recently exerting control in an attempt to reduce fragmentation in what has long been billed as an open system available for tweaking and customization by any and all who wish to deploy hardware utilizing the platform.

But it certainly appears that even carriers are now getting into the act, seeking to cut off at the source consumer access to apps that can violate the carriers' terms and conditions rather than dealing with customers directly. Users can of course work around carrier restrictions with methods known as "sideloading" that allow users to install apps through unapproved sources, but most casual users are undoubtedly sticking to mainstream, authorized marketplaces such as the Android Market for their needs.

The iPhone has supported tethering via USB and Bluetooth directly via the operating system for some time now, and has recently added Wi-Fi hotspot functionality. These features do, however, require support from individual carriers, many of whom charge extra for the privilege of using them. Some users have worked around those restrictions by jailbreaking their devices and installing apps such as MyWi, although carriers such as AT&T have recently increased their efforts to identify those users and move them to more expensive data plans officially supporting the hotspot functionality.

Article Link: U.S. Carriers Cracking Down on Android Hotspot Tethering Apps
 

Northgrove

macrumors 65816
Aug 3, 2010
1,146
429
I don't really get this... You already pay fees for the data - why do they care for how you use it?
 

ArchaicRevival

macrumors regular
Jan 16, 2011
245
0
Bucketheadland
No! I love my Optimus V Quick Settings app! I'm actually using it right now in class cause the stupid wi-fi doesn't work at this freaking UNIVERSITY! :mad:
 

alent1234

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2009
5,688
170
I don't really get this... You already pay fees for the data - why do they care for how you use it?


that's their profits. texting and tethering. those of us with just the regular service barely pay the bills

same reason why the lower end imacs mbp's are not that good a buy or the GPU's are gimped on them and the $2000 model has the good GPU and 1GB of GDDR5
 

Theclamshell

macrumors 68030
Mar 2, 2009
2,741
3
This sucks. I don't want to have to pay Verizon an extra $20 a month on top of an already expensive phone bill to do this crap. Will this affect using PDAnet on a jail broken iPhone?
 

ngenerator

macrumors 68000
May 12, 2009
1,842
-7
USG Ishimura
I don't really get this... You already pay fees for the data - why do they care for how you use it?

Fees for the data for that one device. But please don't start a "tethering is awesome v. tethering is against the rules" war here, there's plenty of other threads for that.
 

JPark

macrumors 6502a
Jun 5, 2006
661
157
I'm fine with the cell companies charging more for tethering. I'm also fine with them doing tiered data plans. Either one of those is okay in my book. Doing both, however, is robbery.
 

jayducharme

macrumors 601
Jun 22, 2006
4,396
5,397
The thick of it
Maybe to let us know they're not just cracking down on iPhone owners?

And also maybe to suggest that "open" isn't all it's cracked up to be. The promise of an open system doesn't always play out in the real world. It works well for geeks who know what they're doing, but for the average consumer it can create a big headache (inadvertently installing a rogue program, for instance). It's a trade-off: more freedom vx. more stability.
 

radiohead14

macrumors 6502a
Nov 6, 2008
873
42
nyc
some android phones already come with wifi tether built in and you could disable the data charge on vzw phones. the good people at xda will find ways for the rest of the phones as well.. so this isn't really a big deal
 

iOS v Android

macrumors member
Apr 26, 2011
52
0
I have t-mo and their is tethering right on my phone OS. USB and Wifi. I use wifi all the time. I have to use the USB when my rig is in linux mode because I don't have the drivers for my USB wifi dongle for linux
 

JPark

macrumors 6502a
Jun 5, 2006
661
157
And why is this on mac rumors.

Does it really matter what the competition does.

It's not what the competition does, it's what the wireless companies are doing to the competition (and which they've already done to iPhones).
 

shartypants

macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2010
922
60
Why is it that Google always touts how open is so good, then they realize that, oh, guess we should tighten things up a bit, maybe being too open is not such a good thing.
 

Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
39,572
6,891
Los Angeles
I don't really get this... You already pay fees for the data - why do they care for how you use it?
Two answers come to mind:
  1. Tetherers tend to use more bandwidth, to serve more devices. You pay for a certain amount of bandwidth but the carriers much prefer that you use less than the purchased allotment.
  2. As long as the ability to tether is worth something to consumers the carriers can charge for it because many people will be willing to pay for the feature.
 

tigress666

macrumors 68040
Apr 14, 2010
3,288
17
Washington State
I'm fine with the cell companies charging more for tethering. I'm also fine with them doing tiered data plans. Either one of those is okay in my book. Doing both, however, is robbery.

I agree with this. AT&T at least got a little better once Verizon got the iphone by offering additional GB for the extra charge they charged for tethering so at least you actually got something for that extra money (vs. being ripped off for being charged to use the data you already paid for).

But overall, if you are paying for the actual data (paying for a set amount), it should not matter how you use it. But I could see on a "all you can eat" plan where it would matter how you use it cause some ways you'd end up using it a lot more than they planned for (basically I think it is fair in an all you can eat style plan, food or data ;), to specify rules on what you can do. I mean even in all you can eat buffets they have rules like no taking home food or you're only allowed there for an hour or you have to eat everything and not just pick out stuff otherwise it is too easily abused to the point that they wouldn't make a profit. It is the same way with data use).
 

iOS v Android

macrumors member
Apr 26, 2011
52
0
Why is it that Google always touts how open is so good, then they realize that, oh, guess we should tighten things up a bit, maybe being too open is not such a good thing.

this has nothing to do with google or openess. it is the carriers restricting access to the apps. This is the carriers and their policies. They see the apps as a threat to the plans they sell so they blocked them
 
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