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Android 2.2 may one-up US iPhone with tethering, hotspots

updated 12:10 pm EDT, Thu May 13, 2010

Android's Froyo will have tethering option, speed

Google's upcoming Android 2.2 will have built-in data tethering when it ships, a firmware leak confirmed today. The software will share an Android phone's cellular link over USB and will be integrated with a new hotspot feature. Much like the Evo 4G, owners will have the option of using phone's Wi-Fi connection to share its data with nearby devices.

Speed may also play a role in software, as parts of the interface has been informally tested as running about 450 percent faster than Android 2.1.

Whether or not the features will be enabled on every Android 2.2 device isn't clear in the TechCrunch slip. Unlocked, reference phones like the Nexus One are the most likely to have the options turned on, but any carrier-locked phones such as the HTC Droid Incredible or myTouch Slide may have the feature switched off depending on policies. Most US carriers charge extra for tethering where Canada, much of Europe and other countries often allow it for free.

The addition nonetheless would both catch Android up to the iPhone in tethering support and would possibly give it an edge by placing support out of the direct control of a provider. AT&T has repeatedly promised tethering for Apple's handset since June of last year but hasn't set a definitive timetable; it has usually said it wants the network to be capable of handling the increased 3G activity.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. das

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2001

    +4

    iPhone OS 3.x already has tethering

    This isn't an OS issue, it's a carrier issue. iPhone OS 3.x has very easy tethering, but AT&T doesn't want it used. So yeah, if Android 2.2 does this AND has US carriers on board that will do free or low-cost tethering, then it "one-ups" iPhone. But if AT&T doesn't let Android 2.2 do it, either, it's on even footing with iPhone on AT&T, and if other carriers (like Verizon or Sprint) charge $30-$40 month for a tethering plan, it's still not that much of a "one-up" (though I do wish we at least had the *option* to get a tethering plan of any kind with iPhone on AT&T in the US...)

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jan 2007

    +3

    Tethering plans are pure bunk!

    I already pay for a data plan.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +3

    Re: iPhone OS 3.x

    But does the iPhone 3.x allow you to use your iPhone as also a wifi base station?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +2

    One-up?

    The addition nonetheless would both catch Android up to the iPhone in tethering support

    How does 'catching up to the iPhone' become one-upping?

    and would possibly give it an edge by placing support out of the direct control of a provider.

    Excuse me, but they just wrote in the previous paragraph that most 'locked' phones would have it off or on based on the carrier! How exactly does that take it out of the 'direct control of a provider'????? It's only out of their control for unlocked phones, and most people don't or can't buy those.

    AT&T has repeatedly promised tethering for Apple's handset since June of last year but hasn't set a definitive timetable; it has usually said it wants the network to be capable of handling the increased 3G activity.

    Right, it's all about the network load. Even though you can tether pretty much every other smart phone on the 3G network, iPhone tethering's going to break their backs.

    And this is the network we all so dearly love and for which Apple should not think about jilting by offering a phone through verizon.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2004

    +3

    I have tethering for free in the U.S.

    You can get tethering from two places: Verizion sells the Palm Pre/Pixi, with a mobile hotspot app, they have waived the extra charge they normally charge for tethering, on these phones only, you only need pay for the data plan.

    And T-Mobile allows tethering on phones it calls "Data devices", most of these are older Blackberries, or WinMo's with Edge connection, but the Blackberry 9700 is a 3g device.

    So, in short Verizion w/Palm Pre, or T-mo w/Blackberry 9700.

    Palm Pre can do wi-fi hotspot without extra hardware. The 9700 is bluetooth or usb cable tethering only, unless you buy some hardware. The T-mo solution is the cheapest overall, and you can buy hardware to give yourself a wi-fi hotspot over the phone's 3g connection - it is another device to carry.

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Nov 2009

    +4

    Can't


    tether the iPad. FAIL.

  1. Tofino

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005

    +3

    at&t' fault

    iphone tethering has been working just fine at no additional charge on my phone plan.
    it's good to be in canada.

  1. facebook_Gary

    Via Facebook

    Joined: May 2010

    0

    Tether With a WinMo Phone!

    It really makes me chuckle to see everyone "waiting" for the iphone (and others) to be able to use your phone as a Wi-Fi Router. I have a 5-year old Sprint 6700 phone that has had that option for YEARS via a simple program called (appropriately enough) WMWiFiRouter at http://www.wmwifirouter.com. I got it when it was still FREE but still only costs 14.99 euros and it works flawlessly. I tether my HP laptop with it all the time using the Sprint EVDO network. Oh, and I've also been using cut & paste and a few other "new" iphone features for those 5 years as well. My next phone though will be the new Sprint EVO 4G since the WinMo 7 OS is going backwards in locking down their new OS (like the iphone). Guess it's time to go Android!

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