There has been a minor controversy brewing over at the iTunes Apps store over the last twenty four hours. Apple has let an application onto the store that allows you to tether your laptop to AT&T's 3G network via a socks Proxy. (This was available last week via a jailbreak.)
The NetShare application (iTunes link) was made by Null River Software - who are in charge of the popular jailbroken iPhone software Installer. As soon as the software hit the Apps store it was pulled by Apple. Obviously, the software breaks AT&T's no-tethering agreement. AT&T charges $15/month for this feature on other phones and supposedly doesn't allow it on regular iPhones.
Apple killed it, right? The few people who managed to download it were ecstatic that they got it in time. The rest of us would have to resort to jailbreaking the iPhone for this functionality.
Not so fast. As quickly as it was taken away, Apple brought back the NetShare Application this morning. Not wanting to see it get taken down again, I quickly downloaded and installed it.
As iPhone Apps go, it isn't the most elegant. However, with a few instructions, you can be online on your laptop in no time. I won't go into rehashing everything here. However, I would recommend that in addition to Null River's instructions, you create another location on your laptop computer so you can switch back and forth quickly. On the iPhone side, remember that when you leave the application, your socks application is turned off and you go offline.
I got some pretty solid speed from my iPhone tether in Soho, New York City - but nothing that is going to scare my ISP.
Here's what the speed looked like on my Mac:
And what the NetShare Application was reading while the tests were going on:
Not bad. If only for the possibility that Apple and AT&T may be shown the error of their ways and release a much easier-to-tether application for the masses. See how many people have paid $10 for this already? AT&T, Apple, anyone listening?
Update: Apple has yet again removed NetShare. Never fear, there is still a way to tether with your iPhone..
Update 2: iPhone 2.0.2 software works with Netshare for those of you who got it while you could.
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