Wednesday, January 12, 2011

iPhone as WiFi Hotspot

This was probably the great reveal during Apple iPhone Verizon presentation in the US: the Verizon iPhone can act as a 3G/WiFi hotspot.

This "feature" was once even available at Apple's own App Store, thanks to an App that was promptly removed shortly after. So, we all know the iPhone could always do it. And, now that even low cost Android phones can do it as well, does it make any sense to keep it away from iPhone users?

(We're not talking about tethered Internet sharing, where you can use your iPhone as an internet "modem" when connected to a computer; but using the iPhone as a WiFi hotspot, for multiple simultaneous devices, without any need for proprietary drivers like those required for tethering.)

Sure, this delay has probably more to do with AT&T saturated 3G network than anything else (most of the world had tethering enabled iPhones one year sooner than AT&T customers), but again... the iPhone is a world phone, and lots of other countries have 3G networks that are perfectly capable of handling the extra mobile data an hotspot iPhone could provide. So... let's hope Apple doesn't make us wait too long for something that should have been there from the start!

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