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 PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags at&ttetheringiPhone 4.0

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

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.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?