back to article Android tethering app tossed

Providers of one of the more popular tethering apps for Google's Android-based G1 handset have had their application summarily dumped from the application store, at the apparent behest of mobile operator T-Mobile. Tethering applications have been available through the Android Marketplace for a while, but developers of Wifi …


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  1. mike white

    How Ironic

    If you click on the T-Mobile advert that's cropping up on here currently then the T-mobile page you're taken too states

    "Super-fast internet access. Plus connect the Vario to your laptop and be online with mobile broadband "


  2. David Gosnell

    Misplaced greed

    Beats me why why do this though. Sure, they're taking the attitude of why sell just one contract when two will rake in double the tied-in profit. But why not play along, show some sustainability credentials by not issuing unnecessary hardware, and officially allow such tethering for a modest fee, perhaps with a throughput cap if really necessary to protect their network bandwidth?

  3. Ryan
    Paris Hilton

    To all those people bemoaning Windows Mobile...

    ...and talking up BlackBerry, iPhone & Android:

    I, with my dated UI and unfashionable logo, am able to RUN ANY CODE I DAMN WELL PLEASE on my handset! Not only that, but I'm not locked to a particular network (or e-mail server) and it's been around long enough to have a much richer, more useful, and less novelty-ridden range of apps available.

    Who cares about WM6.5 with it's fancy new skin and smudge-tastic finger interface? Ugly old 6.1 is where it's at!

    Paris icon because she's pretty but useless.


  4. Danny


    ive been saying this all along and this highlights the major problems with android. Sure it maybe an open sauce OS but it has very limited ways of getting apps installed on it. If the operator doesnt like it then it will be no better than an iphone -i.e. you need to hack it.

    Personally I will stick to my clunky WM omnia which (btw) is happily using network connection sharing.

  5. David John Walsh

    Very odd of t-mobile

    This is disappointing news, and I wonder if El Reg would clarify if this is "worldwide" or restricted to certain regions.

    The reason I ask is that pre-G1 I was a Vario X user (windows mobile x) and T-Mobile UK offer 3 Web and Walk plans - the first (and most basic ) offer handset use only

    The second (which they put all G1 users on) Allows in their T and C for tethering - in fact they market this point reasonably heavily - the limitation is on "voice" protocols

    Their third (and most expensive) allows for "voice" protocols.

    So why block an application that is "allowed" in the T-Mobile UK Terms and Conditions - albeit with a "rooted" (closest thing to jail-broken) handset, which itself is against the TC's

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too bad the OpenMoko hardware sucks so bad

    Nothing to add to the title, really. If the OpenMoko handsets had either a real keyboard or a camera - or ideally both - they might actually be useful for something, certainly as obvious competitors to the usual fare, which, for many users' desired functionality, need to be hacked. So sad.

  7. jai


    i thought the Android platform was going to be such a utopia where phone users were able to use their phones in just the way they wanted, free from the shakles of zealous app store management and network demands?

    it seems like as more time passes, the more and more like the iPhone (in the restrictions) Android gets

    what's that i hear? the drawing in of breath from all the Pre-lovers about to tell us how much better it will be when/if their beloved device ever actually appears in the shops?

  8. James

    fuck 'em

    I'm tethering anyway. There's more than one way to get the app.

  9. Steve Evans


    Why should it matter? They have a data volume cap, so if you blow it in a couple of hours from a tethered laptop, why should they care?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Am confused

    Now I actually work for t-Mobile here in the UK, and can confirm that when a contract is connected to the network with a G1 it is put onto the Web 'n' Walk Plus plan as standard, which is normally an extra £7.50 per month. This plan allows you to use your mobile as a tethered modem for your computer, as long as no VOIP programs are used. The reason this is added is simply because the 1GB allowance from standard web n' walk is not enough for a device that is always connected to the internet, and whilst there are no run-on rates on T-Mobile in the UK there is throttling.

    Now what confuses me is that there has been no internal comment on the ability to tether your phone to your laptop for this, even though the company is theoretically £7.50 out of pocket each month (More, as web 'n' walk is currently free on the Flext plans) I'd hardly be surprised if T-Mobile had decided to crack down, but there's nothing about it internally at present., at least not in the UK.

    A more likely cause is either T-Mobile US has thrown its toys out of the pram, but I am leaning towards this being linked to the 'G2' and Vodafone. Their unlimited internet plans do not allow tethering, and I assume they are unlikely to change this. Believe me, T-Mobile are all over the idea of tethering at the moment and would almost certainly be happy to allow it for a small fee, as it essentially pure profit.

    Anonymous, for very obvious reasons...

  11. noSPicedhAM

    T-Mobile Uk G1 data tariff always proscribed tethering

    The variant of data tariff that T-Mobile Uk specifically supplies with the Android G1 has excluded the use of handset as modem [or the associated contract sim in a usb modem stick] since the launch of the device.

    Removing any tethering apps from the store is the logical pursuit of their prohibition.

  12. Tony Hoyle

    Re: but....

    They can. Downloading from somewhere other than the marketplace is trivial.. a link on a webpage is enough. No hacking required.

    Not that the marketplace is particularly limited.. there's an app to download hacked firmware, for example. Google don't really care what you do with the phone generally.

    There's nothing like the iphone level of restrictions in there.

  13. George Watson


    While I appreciate a good, heartfelt rant - and Ryan's was excellent! - I need to correct a misunderstanding.

    While the Android Market is a bloody convenient way to buy apps, unlike the Apple appstore, you're not locked into it. There are other 'appstore' websites out there, including Handango's AndroidGear one, among others. There are also 3rd-party developers posting apps for download because they don't want to spend the £25 fee to register for the Android Market and also commercial developers selling via their corporate sites.

    There are many subjective arguments to be made in the WinMob versus Android debate, but the ringfencing one isn't really one of them.

    And of course as pointed out above, this makes Google's move a little ineffective (perhaps intentionally?) - especially as there is an app out there that allows tethering without needing root access - free, and written by an established company, which the Android Market has never seen.

  14. George Watson

    Actually, while I'm posting anyway:

    David John Walsh makes a better point above than he realises: Not only do T-mobile UK offer a 'Web and Walk Plus' package which actively allows tethering (excluding Voice data traffic) but when I got my G1, I was told that T-mobile were *requiring* G1 users to sign-up to Web and Walk Plus because the pushed data and anticipated higher data use required WaW+'s 3GB per month data cap (instead of vanilla WaW's 1GB limit - but not to worry as Web and Walk plus was already included in the monthly tarriff pack for the G1!

    Perhaps that's worthy of follow-up by El Reg - T-mobile (U.S?) Pushes Google to ban a tethering app from its market despite the fact that every T-Moble G1 user in the UK (*) is allowed to tether perfectly legitimately by the terms of their, er, T-Mobile contract!

    Certainly sounds like an own goal to me, especially as Google's Android HQ is in London.


    (* - Yeah, I know - all 10 of us... )

  15. Tom
    Thumb Down

    Stupid mobile companies!

    In Canada they charge different amounts for the same data depending on what device you have.

    iPhone, Blackberry, "smart phone", normal phone, USB internet stick, even different "approved apps" all have different data rates. Why the hell is it cheaper for me to have a normal mobile phone (with a nice mini-usb port on the side) to talk on and a separate USB data stick for laptop data?

    Unlimited browsing? Sure if you have a locked phone with their crap browser and only want to brows their closed mobile network, and oh joy facebook. Crap!

  16. Dean
    Thumb Up


  17. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    N95 on 02

    I've got a N95 on o2's £35 a month plan which includes a free bolt on (un limted internet). Have been using the phone as a usb modem for almost two years now. Without any problems and no threatenting letters from o2.

    So i was considering upgrading but after reading this, i think i'll stick with what i've got!!!

    Paris Icon = Because i can!!

  18. DR

    I've got an XDA

    Provided by O2, customised by O2 with their app, (i.e when I reset the device all the customisation comes back and the little O2 apps).

    my phone has an application installed from new called modem link that lets me connect my phone to my computer as a USB modem.

    So here is my strange predicament.

    o2 let me do it, they provided the app to let me do it, they provide unlimited data so that it's worth doing it...

    but now they are suggesting that I can't do it? (I know this related to t-mobile but I'm thinking about the iPhone tethering conundrum as well).

  19. Richard Sloan
    Paris Hilton


    As others have said, The Wifitether, tetherwifi (same thing but you pay money to someone who used the same library, then started charging for it without crediting the authors) and TetherBlu got dropped out of the market. Wifitether has already been linked to and Tetherblu is for sale on SlideMe. Unlike Apple you can just install what you like after checking the really obvious box in Settings to allow non market apps. You then install .APK files on it just like installing .SIS files on Nokia Series 60 smartphones and .CAB files on WinMo Smartphones.

    Wifi tethering apps also only work on phones which have root access, either by getting an unupdated device and telnetting into it to get root and disabling OTA updates, or flashing the phone with the unupdated firmware then using one of the JesusFreke updates (3 versions, one for US, one for UK, one for ADP1), or buying an ADP1 directly from Google. Without doing it the only way to tether is to use Tetherbot which is a bit flakey. There is a new non-root app which is a port of PDAnet to android but I've not tried that yet.

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