iPhone 3G tethering App pulled by Apple (updated)

iPhone 3G tethering App pulled by Apple (updated)

Summary: One of the most oft-requested new features in the iPhone 3G is modem access/tethering. Now that it has a chip capable of 3G data downloads, it stands to reason that you'd be able to connect your iPhone 3G to a MacBook and use it as a modem.


iPhone 3G tethering App gets pulled by AppleOne of the most oft-requested new features in the iPhone 3G is modem access/tethering. Now that it has a chip capable of 3G data downloads, it stands to reason that you'd be able to connect your iPhone 3G to a MacBook and use it as a modem. But you can't. Even though AT&T has data tethering options for its other smartphones (granted, it costs an extra US$30 per month) it doesn't offer a similar feature with the iPhone. Why?

Enter NullRiver, Inc. the developer of the pre-eminent post-jailbreakering tool Installer.app. They briefly slipped a data tethering application called NetShare into the App Store. According to a post at MacRumors NetShare allowed you to share your iPhone's EDGE or 3G Internet connection with your computer by providing a SOCKS5 proxy for your computer to connect to.

The application was summarily removed from the App Store some time Thursday afternoon. Although it still can be found by searching in iTunes, clicking on the App's link throws an error message that reads "the item you've requested is not currently available in the US store." The NullRiver product page now just says "we're updating our site."

I wonder if AT&T pressured Apple into removing the app.

(Tip and Photo: MacRumors)

Update 8/1:  NullRiver has posted two updates on their Web site under the headline NetShare, where did it go?

Update 2: Apple has taken it down again, with no explanation yet again.

Update: NetShare is now back up and available from the AppStore! We're not quite sure why Apple took down the NetShare application yet, we've received no communication from Apple thus far. NetShare did not violate any of the Developer or AppStore agreements. We're hoping we'll get some feedback from Apple today. Sorry to all the folks that couldn't get it in time. We'll do our best to try to get the application back onto the AppStore if at all possible. At the very least, we hope Apple will allow it to be used in countries where the provider does permit tethering.

Topics: Hardware, Apple, iPhone, Mobility, Networking, Wi-Fi

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  • Get Your Computer Online using your iPhone's Data Connection


    But, if you had an Nokia N95, you wouldn't be writing this plaintiff article--you'd have choices.

    Heck, I even have [url=http://www.joikuspot.com/]JoikuSpot[/url] which allows my phone to act as a 'hotspot' AP which means I can tether to it concurrently as many wireless devices as I want.

    Apple is practically forcing people to 'jailbreak'--doesn't seem right does it Jason?

    You really should start getting 'hardnosed' about it.
    It's all about choice.
    D T Schmitz
    • No Doubt!

      I have a samsung smartphone and I don't use the tethering that often, but I just went out to the web and found the tethering app that I needed and now I can hook in with bluetooth and get high speed over my phone no problem without $30 extra a month. I have even found a cool app that makes my display touch screen like the iphone and I still have my nice physical keyboard which saves me much time over using the iphone keyboard which requires alot of backspacing to get it right. So far what I need the iphone can't touch my samsung except for its pretty design. I will always choose function over form. Well I'm off to the park to vpn into work and enjoy the peacefulness for free.
      • you found a cool app that what?

        software cant turn your screen into touch screen. that makes no sense. its a difference of hardware...
        • I wager

          Rather than bending any physical laws he simply meant he replaced his phone's default touch screen UI with something more iPhone-esque.
  • Well...

    ...either AT&T pressured Apple into removing it or Apple's quality control process for the app store - which is supposed to be one of its sellign points - is rubbish.

    It's one of the two.
    Sleeper Service
  • RE: iPhone 3G tethering App pulled by Apple

    It seems like software development was once about using
    every possible capability the hardware had to offer.

    Now it seems like software development is all about locking
    out the hardware at every turn.
  • How do you know it was pulled by Apple?

    Tapulous had Friend Book in the App Store for a short period
    of time and then removed it.
  • WindowsMobile tethering

    Without a hitch. It's built into the OS, so all I need to do is plug it in via USB, turn it on, and I'm off.
    • the issue isn't the iPhone, it is AT&T.

      The single weakest part of the iPhone. It is connected to
    • Windows mobile, windows schmobile

      I had a nice Samsung 1730, win mobile 5 phone for over a year, and you know what? I could not tether it, because Verizon did not like the idea. However, for winmobile phones, verizon does not charge $30 for data, but $46 per month. And that without the ability to tether.
      • Verizon and tethering

        I have a vz6700. There are hacks out there to tether without paying Verizon extra. If you do it the easy way tethering is $10/mo on top of a data plan.
  • Really? No other possibilities?

    Such as the developer pulled it because it contained bugs, or
    used GPLed code they didn't have a license for, or something
    neither of us have considered?
    • Possible, but...

      ...How would Apple pull down something so fast due to the code it used? The source is not uploaded to Apple. They would have to decompile it, which really isnt much of an exact science. So its unlikely that its a GPL version.

      And if you read the updated post, the developer is *not* the one that pulled it down, Apple did.
  • Probably ATT

    Since ATT is paying Apple about $300 for
    every iPhone sold they want their $30 a
    month if you want tethering. I would guess
    that the people who approved the app in
    the first place had no access or knowledge
    of ATT/Apple contract clauses that gave
    tethering to ATT.
    • But

      They aren't getting their $30 a month for tethering, because it isn't being offered. What is AT&T losing by allowing the app to come through? If it was AT&T, is that an indication that tethering will be possible in the next version of the phone? If tethering were coming, I can see them pulling the phone. But why not make it available now if they have plans to do it? It's one of the most asked-for features, after all.
    • That would make sense if....

      It was available from AT&T for the extra $30 that they normally charge. But it isnt an option at all.
      • They're probably planning on rolling out

        the extra special iPhone-flavored tethering soon, and they want people to be hungry enough to pay the special iPhone rate for the service. I'd guess at least $40/mo
  • Highway Robbery

    The Westen Markets seem quite backwards. 30 bucks for
    using the same dataplan you already paid for! In Asian
    markets you do not pay one buck more for the option.
    • Not me

      True it is a rip off, especially if you use it on a limited bases when need be. But I don't pay extra, I can tether my phone no problem without signing up for the service, and it works like a charm. Just another reason my phone serves more purpose than the iphone. Its cool don't get me wrong, but its not an open platform thats for sure.
  • It's available again