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8/1/2008
08:35 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Apple Puts The Kibosh On Tethering Application For The iPhone

Yesterday, a $10 application from Nullriver appeared in the iPhone Apps Store that allowed you to use the iPhone to access the Internet via 3G and share that connection through its Wi-Fi radio. It didn't last long, however, before the powers that be at Apple squashed the application. Update! Apple un-kiboshed the app!

Yesterday, a $10 application from Nullriver appeared in the iPhone Apps Store that allowed you to use the iPhone to access the Internet via 3G and share that connection through its Wi-Fi radio. It didn't last long, however, before the powers that be at Apple squashed the application. Update! Apple un-kiboshed the app!Ever so briefly, an application was available at the iPhone Apps Store that used the iPhone to bridge an Internet connection and a computer. In other words, a tethering app. It cost $10, and was offered by Nullriver.

NetShare used a SOCKS5 proxy to allow the computer to connect to the iPhone's Wi-Fi radio. Excited users pounced, and began downloading the application. Even though Apple had to have approved that application at some point, it caught wind of what the app could really do, and yanked it from the store.

According to a MacRumors, a Nullriver developer said, "We're not quite sure why Apple took down the 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 tomorrow. 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, I would hope Apple will allow it in countries where the provider does permit tethering."

What a shame.

As far as I am concerned, any 3G-capable smartphone should be able to serve as a wireless modem. I think heavy wireless data users (such as myself) would pay a premium to be able to connect to the Internet via a piece of hardware that they probably already own, rather than have to buy a separate modem built into an ExpressCard or USB dongle. I already pay for an unlimited wireless data connection, why should it matter whether I am using my laptop or my smartphone to browse the Web?

Update: As of 2PM today, Apple has returned NetShare to the iPhone Apps Store.

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