One of the features in iPhone firmware 3.0 that Apple strangely didn't announce was support for tethering but provided some details about the feature during the Q&A session.
Irish iPhone developer, Steven Troughton-Smith who had figured out a way to enable Emoji icons in iPhone firmware 2.2 with a simple hack has managed to enable tethering on his iPhone after upgrading to iPhone firmware 3.0 beta which is currently available only to developers of iPhone developer program.
The ability to tether the iPhone to feed a data connection to your computer to surf the internet was one of the features in our iPhone Firmware 3.0 Wish List.
Apple gave us the good news that they are inded building support for tethering in iPhone Firmware 3.0 during the Q&A session, however
they added that it will depend on carriers to add tethering support on their networks.
iPhone developer, Steven Troughton-Smith has tweeted few hours back that while he was hacking around with some carrier bundle files and iPhone firmware 3.0 beta; he somehow managed to enable tethering on his iPhone 3G.
He was also able to tether his iPhone 3G to his laptop over USB. He has also posted some screenshots:
As you can see from the preference screen, you will be able to tether either via USB or Bluetooth.
In the US, AT&T usually offers their official tethering option for smartphones for an additional $30 per month with a 5GB data cap. It will be interesting to see if AT&T will be offering tethering support on their networks when iPhone firmware 3.0 is launched and how much they will charge for it.
There have been various rumors about AT&T's tethering plans for iPhone customers, as per one rumor AT&T will charge an additional $30 per month, the same as it charges for other smartphones while there was another rumor which claimed that AT&T could pleasantly surprise its iPhone customers by offering their tethering option for only an additional $10 per month.
However, AT&T and other carriers will have some convincing to do for customers to shell out an additional amount for tethering as there are iPhone apps like PdaNet for the jailbroken iPhone which enable the tethering feature for a one-time fee.
But its good to see Apple finally building support for the feature so that iPhone users who aren't technically inclined or who don't want to get into trouble with their carriers for too much tethering data usage can opt for the official tethering plans from their carriers after iPhone firmware 3.0 is released this summer.
What do you think?