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3/31/2009
02:30 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Google Yanks Tethering Apps From Android Market

It looks like Google is exerting some control over a few applications in the Android Market. It recently pulled a tethering application for Developer Distribution Agreement violations.

It looks like Google is exerting some control over a few applications in the Android Market. It recently pulled a tethering application for Developer Distribution Agreement violations.I can't say I blame Google for yanking "WiFi Tether for Root Users" from the Android market. Its network operator partners -- i.e., those carriers actually selling Google devices -- probably don't want G1 users downloading vast quantities of data through their wireless networks this way.

Tethering allows laptop users to access the mobile Internet through their smartphones, rather than a separate wireless modem. I use a wireless modem nearly every day, and would much prefer to simply use my phone instead. Alas, the option isn't available. Yet.

WiFi Tether for Root Users gave HTC G1 users exactly that power, the ability to access the Internet through their phones. According to Google, that's a no-no.

T-Mobile, seller of the HTC G1 here in the U.S., also says it is a no-no, and plainly states that tethering isn't allowed. It notes in its terms of service:

Your Data Plan is intended for Web browsing, messaging, and similar activities on your device and not on any other equipment. Unless explicitly permitted by your Data Plan, other uses, including for example, tethering your device to a personal computer or other hardware, are not permitted.
It was probably T-Mobile that pressured Google to remove the tethering app once it realized what the app was being used for. We can only hope that everyone involved here (the network operators, device makers, and software providers) can come up with the best solution or set of solutions to allow smartphone users to tether their devices.

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