“NetShare” app briefly scales iPhone’s walled garden

netshare.jpg

We knew it would happen at some point: Apple has nuked an application from the App Store for (likely) violating terms of AT&T’s user agreement. Nullriver’s “NetShare” application allowed iPhone users to share their 3G or EDGE connection from their iPhone with other devices over Wi-Fi. It was pulled down from the App Store after just 20 minutes.

This leads to a few questions:

What the hell is happening in Apple’s application review process? They obviously aren’t looking too closely at the applications or NetShare wouldn’t have gone up in the first place. What’s the point of approving applications for distribution by hand if they aren’t actually being viewed by editorial or policy experts?

Why doesn’t Apple have a netsharing application themselves? I’d be happy to pay the $30 premium a month to use my iPhone as an access point for my laptop, as would thousands of others, I suspect. It’d probably be somewhat taxing on the 3G infrastructure, but so what? That’s why we pay for access on an additional device.

Why did I say “a few” when I actually just had two questions? We’ll probably never know.

It’s a pity Apple killed it for AT&T’s sake. Now Nullriver will probably end up releasing it for free, forcing AT&T to chase down “bandwidth abusers” instead of generating extra revenue, while Apple will have lost their 30% cut of the software sales.

Nullriver Introduces 3G/EDGE Tethering App for iPhone [Macrumors via iPhone Alley]

Update: It appears to be back on the App Store. I just bought it. [App Store link via Waxy's twitter]

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5 Responses to “NetShare” app briefly scales iPhone’s walled garden

  1. zuzu says:

    Although the iPhone is particularly bad, most devices snatch defeat from the jaws of Bluetooth victory. They’re all terrible about supporting all of the “profiles”, and so many manufacturers seem to be lazy/hesitant to use Bluetooth at all.

    I was not that long ago overjoyed to get a BlackBerry (Curve 8320) paired with my car’s built-in Bluetooth head-unit (Sony MEX-BT2600). But that was quickly followed by “now, why the hell haven’t iPods and phones been like this since 2003 or so?” Such Personal Area Networks were mostly the purpose behind Bluetooth: I have my phone in my pocket, but when I start my car it auto-pairs with the phone (without ever having to take it out of my pocket) and I can play the MP3s stored on its 8GB microSD card (as roomy as any iPod Nano) through the controls of the head-unit, as well as take handsfree calls through the car’s speakers and the head-unit’s microphone.

    And I like that the BlackBerry lets me just copy MP3 files onto (and off of) the SD card like a normal mass-storage device, instead of “syncing” via iTunes. I can even wirelessly send MP3 and video files to other BlackBerries via Bluetooth File Sending.

    Oh, and by default the BlackBerry also supports Bluetooth “tethering” for using data plans with a laptop (such as the Apple MacBook). (Which, again, I can use without having to take the phone out of my pocket. It’s almost like having a WWAN card built-in to the MacBook.)

    I’m all for Apple and the innovation of the iPhone generally, and the BlackBerry only recently got 802.11b/g and UMA service added, as well as having an entire Windows-like culture of quirks such as BIS, BES, and “service books” — which make me long for the UNIX “OS X” inside the iPhone — but the iPhone does need to stop catering to the deals made with the iTunes Store (and AT&T) at the expense of obvious functionality.

  2. jitrobug says:

    Does openmoko support this yet?

    It’s just so grating to have a device that can do wonderful things, but only the wonderful things that make money for somebody else.

    I love thinking about what the equivalents would be if Apple made you use their computers the way they make you use their phone.

  3. Robotech_Master says:

    When I clicked the link, it said the app was not currently available in the US iTunes store. So I guess that’s that: it’s available only in regions where the iPhone carrier allows tethering.

    I expect someone will come up with a free one for the USA sooner or later.

  4. musicalwoods says:

    Yet another flaw with the iPhone. Why don’t they have tethering or for that matter A2DP and cut/copy/paste? I don’t see any reason why those functions are not present. I won’t buy one unless I can use a stereo bluetooth headset.

    The iPhone has many things going for it, but also many inadequacies.

  5. koichan says:

    #3

    No idea about openmoko, but there’s been a freeware equivalent for windows mobile available for months

    google wmwifirouter :)

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