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Google Bans Tethering App From Android Market

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the not-for-you dept.

Cellphones 361

narramissic writes "Maybe Android and the Android Market aren't so open after all. A developer who contributed to the WiFi Tether for Root Users app reports that Google has banned the application from the Android Market. The developer writes in his blog that Google cited a section of the developer agreement that says that Google may remove applications if they violate the device maker's or the operator's terms of service. T-Mobile, the only operator to offer an Android phone, expressly forbids tethering phones to a computer. This incident raises some interesting questions, the developer notes in his blog. 'Does this mean that apps in the Market have to adhere to the ToS for only T-Mobile, even when other carriers sign on? Will all apps have to adhere to the ToS for every carrier that supports Android phones?'"

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361 comments

If only (-1, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426337)

I knew what the fuck "Tethering" is. Presumably it doesn't involve ropes you use in space.

Re:If only (5, Informative)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426351)

From TFA:

The application lets users connect their G1 Android phones via Wi-Fi to their laptops and then access the Internet from the laptop using the phone's cellular connection.

Re:If only (5, Insightful)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426445)

The problem with AT&T verizon and these companies is that they are denying, or trying to deny, what they really are: DUMB FUCKING PIPES.

They see no glamourous future for them if they are DUMB FUCKING PIPES.

But that is exactly what they should be striving for. People will jailbreak, people will fork android, hacker will have PALM PRE by the balls in no time. The dumb pipes should stop trying to charge for music or other "enhanced experience" bullshit and think and act like WALL-MART. We are cheap; we are huge; we are everywhere; and you can't beat us, because we are some FUCKING CHEAP DUMB PIPES, and proud of it.

Re:If only (5, Insightful)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426483)

Yep. They're just providers of the internets now, and they hate it. They've spent the last 100 years charging insane prices for specialised bandwidth. Now, this "internet" thing provides vastly higher data throughput because it needs to transmit things like porn and torrented episodes of Scrubs. They try and keep people thinking that "voice" and "text messages" are somehow special, and are different to all the other data, so they can charge more for them, but people are catching on. They're just going to have to move with the times.

Re:If only (5, Insightful)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426887)

To be fair, cellular bandwidth is fundamentally limited, and has been extremely costly to deploy. It's not particularly surprising that the carriers want to recoup their investment.

Although I'll gladly admit that there is price-gouging going on, if the carriers offer unlimited cheap bandwidth, their networks will be quickly overwhelmed. As it currently stands, the carriers can utilize a large percentage of their capacity by charging high rates; what incentive is there for them to lower prices?

As technology improves, and competing companies become more ambitious, we'll likely see prices slowly begin to fall. It's all a matter of economics.

If we want companies to become more ambitious, the government should take steps to prevent monopolies from forming, and ban the absurd contract schemes that the cellular companies force on their customers.

Re:If only (5, Insightful)

qw0ntum (831414) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426631)

The problem of course is that until recently no one (or rather, a very small number of their customers) saw them as dumb pipes -- only with the rise of decently internet enabled phones has the idea started to occur to people in large numbers that "surprise! your phone is just like your computer". A surprisingly large number of people (in the US I think 80%+) don't use their phones for internet/data on a regular basis, so the idea that their voice bits are the same as their data bits isn't readily apparent. Mobile phone companies are kind of like the AOL-era ISPs, faced with a sudden, rapid change in the way users view their services, as well as a desire to create rich "walled garden" experiences for their subscribers. In my mind, the transition to a mobile company as a dumb pipe will happen eventually and unstoppably, it's just a matter of when.

To be fair, switching to "dumb pipe" providers is a fundamental change in their business model. While certainly not expensive enough to wholly justify their current margins, running the kind of networks these companies do is expensive, and it's a lot to ask for that kind of change to occur. Remember, it wasn't long ago that 3G was just something to rant about not having on /., and data access on phones is really just starting to take off.

Companies are coming around, I think, albeit slowly. Offering unlimited data plans is a really major step that fundamentally changes the way people use data on their phones. In time, that will become cheaper, mobile devices will become more ubiquitous and cheaper, and that's when I think you'll start to see more "dumb pipe" type plans being offerred. I don't see mobile companies and their current model completely going away for some time at least, due to the large portion of the market that still doesn't care about data. As more services are offered for mobile devices, however, I think that too will change.

Re:If only (3, Interesting)

Simple-Simmian (710342) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426837)

The reason I don't use my cellphone for "internet" and email is because AT&T wants to rape me economically if I choose to do so. All this crap is useless if I have to pay 50 cents a min for it. Until AT&T loses the put a meter on it mentality I never will.

Re:If only (3, Insightful)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426907)

The "dumb pipes" analogy doesn't work terribly well.

In the case of terrestrial phone and data lines, capacity can be improved either by improving bandwidth along existing lines, or installing additional lines.

In the case of cellular, this isn't so easy. The amount of usable EM spectrum is finite, and most speed improvements using the already-allocated frequencies will either break compatibility with existing devices, or require a reallocation of the spectrum. Improvements are possible, though they're much more difficult to implement.

A WiFi access point with lots of clients connected tends to be quite slow, regardless of the speed of the WAN that it's connected to. Cell towers operate on that same principle.

Re:If only (4, Interesting)

rachit (163465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426637)

If I had a few billion dollars lying around, I would start a new wireless provider or buy an existing one.

I'd just offer a pipe and sell bandwidth with packet shaping. I wouldn't care what you run on the network. I'd let vonage / skype, etc. sell their services and let whatever phone run on the network (that passes FCC regulation).

I don't know if its feasible, but i'd also offer two low level network calls to send packets at different QoS levels. Email, text messages, podcast syncing can go at a low QoS level while voice and active web browsing can go at a higher.

I'd still charge plenty for my service and I'm fairly certain I'd still get a ton of customers.

Re:If only (1, Insightful)

mgblst (80109) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426979)

So if you had billions of dollars, you would not be interested in making more money, you would give it all away?? And not to the poor in Africa, to some fuckers wanting cheaper internet??

I think we can all guess why you don't, and never will have Billions of dollars.

Re:If only (2, Insightful)

mgblst (80109) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426973)

Would you willingly take a paycut doing the same work?? No, then why the fuck do you think they are going to. They are going to string this out as long as they can, making loads of money all the time. What the fuck do you not understand about this...sure, we wan't it to be different, but it isn't and they won't be for as long as they can.

You writing in all caps isn't going to change that one little bit.

Mod me down all you want fuckers, but this is the truth.

Re:If only (1)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426491)

Click [lmgtfy.com] .

Tether Different (tm) (1)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426343)

Re:Tether Different (tm) (4, Insightful)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426405)

I would have thought that they'd be more against a tether in the opposite direction, letting you use the phone as a wifi VOIP handset. That may be, though, because Australia is the arse end of the Internets and home of the shittiest phone data plans in the known universe, and using your ADSL line is pretty much always cheaper than using a wireless connection. $40 / 6GB [three.com.au] is about the best plan you can get. Amusingly, though, providers here actively encourage tethering [three.com.au] .

Re:Tether Different (tm) (1)

zblack_eagle (971870) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426589)

Providers here bend you over with excess data usage charges, which you may be less likely to encounter if you didn't use tethering.

Re:Tether Different (tm) (5, Funny)

PenguSven (988769) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426693)

The real problem see, is that the wombats all dig up the fibre that gets laid in the ground, and the koalas are constantly climbing mobile ("cell" for you yanks) phone towers and humping the berjesus out of the exposed equipment. Course thats nothing when you compare it to what the dingos do...

Is It Safe To Come Out Yet? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27426353)

Is slashdot's annual lame April Fool's day "prank" over yet?

Re:Is It Safe To Come Out Yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27426549)

Yes because it's 2nd April you fucking idiot.

Re:Is It Safe To Come Out Yet? (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426615)

not in Easter Island

Real? (3, Interesting)

Anthony_Cargile (1336739) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426365)

I assume this is real, and if so this is just one example of Google rejecting an app for their mobile platform; Apple is notorious for it. The company where I work has been waiting on an app from a prominent home theater equipment manufacturer to pass Apple inspection, but it has failed several times in the past 6 months due it's low-level hardware usage, mainly in the area of networking.

I wouldn't normally bash Apple for their iPhone platform, but the restrictions placed on apps is just too limiting compared to Android (unless you factor jailbreaking), but it's popularity makes it a must for mobile development so you have to just accept it. That said, I thought anything could run on Android granted it compiled and you distributed it but I guess I was wrong, according to this.

Re:Real? (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426417)

> but it's popularity makes it a must for mobile development

Custom home theater app? Are you fricking kidding me? Sounds like you do turnkey solutions. The customer isn't going to give a rats rear what the underlying hardware was when you set them up a custom solution and waiting around months for Apple's permission just means you could have been selling stuff for months had you picked a better platform to build on. Or just jailbreak the damned thing and get on with it.

Re:Real? (4, Interesting)

Anthony_Cargile (1336739) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426471)

*sigh* - It's the application Crestron [crestron.com] has been promising for the past few months, even going so far as displaying it at CES 2009 even though it is still trying to pass Apple's inspection for the app store. We won several awards at CES '09, but here's the thing: we are also an Apple dealer, so we sell iPhones and this app lets us integrate what we now sell with the high-dollar Crestron home theater infrastructures we've been setting up for years.

Again, jailbreaking is not an option, as Apple would get a tad pissed at us hacking their products, even more so since we sell them based on a huge contract we had to sign in order to do so. These solutions are anything but "turnkey", by the way, as we've done contracting work for several owners of Forbes list companies. Not to take a dig, but your sig is starting to make sense...

Re:Real? (2, Interesting)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426563)

> we are also an Apple dealer

Ok, so that would kinda preclude jailbreaking. But it is still true you (and Crestron) are leaving money on the table by being tied to Apple's whims. You can't sell a product you don't have. Unless Apple would yank your dealer agreement for daring to use other products, and if they are that anal get out NOW, ya should keep in mind that the world doesn't revolve around em and be prepared to use somebody else's hardware when they get in your way. Enough folk did that and they might become a little less pissy.

> These solutions are anything but "turnkey", by the way, as we've done contracting work
> for several owners of Forbes list companies.

Turnkey is what large companies usually want. Guess you are doing something unusual.

Re:Real? (2, Interesting)

Anthony_Cargile (1336739) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426621)

But it is still true you (and Crestron) are leaving money on the table by being tied to Apple's whims.

Trust me, if everybody were using Android or Windows Mobile, we would be either developing or using apps for those platforms, but the vast majority of our customers use iPhones and since we sell them we promote them to our customers so we can integrate the products we sell with our solutions and profit off of both.

There's something in R&D I can't talk about that involves a far different and 100% cross-platform (web-based) solution that doesn't have to succumb to anybody's restrictions save for our own, but it is still under heavy development and confidential at this point, but it just goes to show that we are exploring our options without burning any bridges.

Turnkey is what large companies usually want. Guess you are doing something unusual.

Maybe I misunderstood, although a more appropriate term would be "touchkey" (my poor attempt at humor).

Re:Real? (2, Informative)

evand (2571) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426715)

It's not Crestron Mobile [apple.com] (iTunes Store link), is it? Because, if so, congratulations; it looks like you've passed Apple's inspection.

Re:Real? (5, Interesting)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426753)

Re:Real? (4, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426997)

This is the single most insightful comment in the whole story, which also happens to make it a non-story (and therefore all other comments, redundant). Bravo.

Re:Real? (1)

mini me (132455) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426965)

but it has failed several times in the past 6 months due it's low-level hardware usage, mainly in the area of networking.

What could you possibly be doing with a simple remote control app that wouldn't pass the Apple test? (Assuming that the application was well written so that it wasn't constantly crashing, etc.) Given that it is only using the public APIs, there isn't anything particularly "low level" that you are allowed to do with the hardware.

Re:Real? (4, Informative)

Asdanf (1281936) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426969)

I thought anything could run on Android granted it compiled and you distributed it but I guess I was wrong, according to this.

Did you even read TFA? It said:

G1 users can download applications directly from developers, circumventing rules that may prohibit apps from the Market.

So yes, your original belief was correct.

Re:Real? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27426987)

Did you even read TFA?

By jove, he must be a slashdot user!

What did you expect? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27426375)

In the United States the carriers would rape your mother and charge you for it if it were legal. I can only hope that there is a special place in Hell for these scumbags, maybe somewhere near the FOX executives.

Re:What did you expect? (3, Insightful)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426467)

Now that there's skype for the iPhone, I'm absolutely sure that AT&T is going to find a way to charge for long-distance email.

Re:What did you expect? (4, Funny)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426829)

Ninth Circle Of Hell: For those who commit treason, exploit a monopoly, or cancel _Firefly_

Re:What did you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27426841)

what, like the back of a volkswagon?

Re:What did you expect? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27426955)

I think there now Torgo's Executive Powder

Re:What did you expect? (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426971)

a special place in Hell for these scumbags

They are going to send them to Canada and force them to pay for the cell phone / data plans we have here. Most plans here charge us long distance charges for long distance calls... that we RECEIVE!. Try that one on.

I suppose if all you do is change lost passwds... (4, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426381)

For a group of so-called "IT professionals", you sure don't know jack shit about technology.

What in the world makes you think that Google can't feed different "Google Store" pages to different users based on carrier?

Re:I suppose if all you do is change lost passwds. (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426475)

What in the world makes you think that Google can't feed different "Google Store" pages to different users based on carrier?

Sure they could, and the half bright user who realizes this can get the software from another source and stick in on the handset. Still doesn't solve the problem.

Re:I suppose if all you do is change lost passwds. (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27427003)

doesn't solve which problem?
you can if you wish install the app, just google won't help you break your TOS, sounds fair

T-Mobile does support tethering (4, Interesting)

StrategicIrony (1183007) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426385)

The T-Mobile MDA and the follup, T-Mobile Wing are both based on Windows Mobile 6, which includes a tethering app as part of the operating system.

T-Mobile always supported tethering with my old MDA (that's a rebranded HTC Hermes).

So... is it an android rule, or does T-Mobile just not bother to stand up to Microsoft who supports it on all of their phones?

hmmm..

Re:T-Mobile does support tethering (4, Informative)

bahwi (43111) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426507)

No, the MDA had the tethering app removed. You could download the missing .exe file off the web but it was removed from the base system. I spent many hours trying to get it working.

Can't vouch for the wing.

--Joseph

Re:T-Mobile does support tethering (1)

Thalagyrt (851883) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426559)

I tethered with the MDA all the time when I was with T-Mobile by using it as a Bluetooth modem. They never complained once.

Re:T-Mobile does support tethering (5, Informative)

RebootKid (712142) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426933)

I just called T-Mobile. Tethering is allowed depending on the plan you've got. If you use too much bandwidth (operator did not know what the # was, and has promised to follow back up with me) then they throttle down your bandwidth. You must have a 'smartphone plan' with unlimited everything (internet, minutes, messages) to qualify, which is a non-issue for me. The guy I spoke to was named Marish (Spelling could be off.) Additionally, I've had smart phones with them ever since I had a Treo 600. Not only did they support tethering then, they gave me a walk-through of how to configure my Treo650 as a Bluetooth modem, complete with APN info, and dialing strings. Again, I pay for the premium package, but it saves me from having to carry around an extra data card. and yes, I've got G1.

Re:T-Mobile does support tethering (1)

tagno25 (1518033) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426595)

The T-Mobile MDA and the follup, T-Mobile Wing are both based on Windows Mobile 6, which includes a tethering app as part of the operating system.

My MDA was a built on Windows Mobile 5.

T-Mobile always supported tethering with my old MDA (that's a rebranded HTC Hermes).

My MDA was a re-branded HTC Wizard.

So... is it an android rule, or does T-Mobile just not bother to stand up to Microsoft who supports it on all of their phones?

Okay, so they ban it from the market. The pay ones could be considered illegal because they used code that falls under the GPL, but did not have any way to get access to that code. You can also get one of the free ones from Google codes.
You also have to have root access to even use the app

This seems like an April fools joke though.

Re:T-Mobile does support tethering (1)

DavidD_CA (750156) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426635)

Carriers can disable WM tethering from the OS, just like they can install their own apps to replace/extend it.

Re:T-Mobile does support tethering (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426831)

I tether via T-Mobile all the time with my Sony Ericsson P910 & P990 phones.

Duh (5, Informative)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426387)

Google isn't going to allow apps that annoy the carriers. In that respect they will be no better than the iPhone. On the other hand they probably won't be banning apps simply because they don't fit into Google's view of what you 'should' be doing on Android so that is a step up from Steve's Iron Fist.

Bottom line, get an unlocked develoopers handset unless you want the cell company and/or Google to tell you what you can and can't run on THEIR hardware. Because that's the bottom line, get a contract phone and it isn't yours and you shouldn't think it is.

Re:Duh (0)

emarkp (67813) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426505)

Bottom line, get an unlocked develoopers handset unless you want the cell company and/or Google to tell you what you can and can't run on THEIR hardware.

Except last I heard the dev handset doesn't allow you to install any copy-protected apps. [blogspot.com]

Re:Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27426755)

It's the difference between Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois at gaining influence/power. One will bring flowers and knock politely to gain access to the club. The latter will knock violently and shame you into letting you in. Both approaches have success but it's usually easier to ask for a tasty beverage later when you have been considerate in the past.

Not a problem (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27426401)

Fortunately, Android phones can install applications that aren't on the Android Market. You can find Tetherbot (not the application mentioned in TFA, but it has similar functionality and, wasn't available when I checked a minute ago) at http://graha.ms/androidproxy/ [graha.ms] , with step by step instructions to using it at here [gridserver.com] .

Re:Not a problem (1)

f1vlad (1253784) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426655)

Yeah, exactly, hence the insignificance of this news announcement.

Re:Not a problem (1)

DMKrow (1496055) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426823)

I believe that Google has restored access to the tether apps outside US. Funny thing, the app mentioned is still available for download from code.google.com in apk form. If you can root the phone you can certainly find these programs. There is even a version tracking app for programs outside the market to alert you for updates. Pulling an app from the market only carries weight for paid apps.

already fixed (outside US anyway) (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426427)

it's already undone outside the US. See the article on arstechnica etc.

you can buy Android apps from outside the market (4, Informative)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426437)

Unlike the iPhone, there is more than one market for the Android platform. Developers can sell their apps directly on their own websites.

Perhaps the app will remain on the developer's site for purchase.

Re:you can buy Android apps from outside the marke (1)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426459)

That was mentioned in the article actually that that would be a way around it.

Re:you can buy Android apps from outside the marke (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426489)

I know you are a script, but that was interesting.

Re:you can buy Android apps from outside the marke (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#27427029)

On the other hand, can't carriers specifically modify the phones that they sell to disable this functionality (just as they do with Java phones)?

With different carriers (2, Interesting)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426457)

This incident raises some interesting questions, the developer notes in his blog. 'Does this mean that apps in the Market have to adhere to the ToS for only T-Mobile, even when other carriers sign on? Will all apps have to adhere to the ToS for every carrier that supports Android phones?'"

I would think, and it's only a guess here, that once other carriers come on board w/ the Android, they would have a notice by the app if it would violate the ToS of the carrier. I don't know how they would enforce it, though.

No crazy restriction for Windows Mobile Apps (5, Interesting)

Jamz (89107) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426463)

This is why I use and develop for Windows Mobile.

I can write my app, I don't have to pay anyone or tell anyone.
My app can do whatever I want, to the limits of possibility.
I can sell my app or give it away to enrich the platform.

I'm not so keen on these App Store ideas - or phones that require you to upload your app to the mothership so it can be validated that it doesn't conflict with any one else's future business plans.

Just compile, run, and distribute .... whats wrong with that?

Re:No crazy restriction for Windows Mobile Apps (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27426497)

But the phones blow goats, and so does the OS, when you get right down to it. Who wants to develop for something as uninteresting as a Windows Mobile phone?

Re:No crazy restriction for Windows Mobile Apps (5, Informative)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426529)

You don't have to sell through the Android App Store if you don't want to. You are free to distribute your Android software however you see fit.

Re:No crazy restriction for Windows Mobile Apps (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27426565)

You and your user certainly couldn't be more satisfied.

Re:No crazy restriction for Windows Mobile Apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27426575)

how did this get modded as troll? if someone were saying the same thing about some open source project they'd get modded insightful. just goes to show that some people around here are nothing but mindless assholes.

Re:No crazy restriction for Windows Mobile Apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27426605)

Nothing, assuming Windows Mobile is worth the price and does what you need.
I prefer my Nokia running Linux and pulling applications from the 1,000s of free apps already written, tested and available under Maemo. Here's the main application web site: http://maemo.org/ [maemo.org]

Re:No crazy restriction for Windows Mobile Apps (2, Interesting)

Yosho (135835) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426921)

I can write my app, I don't have to pay anyone or tell anyone.

Out of curiosity, is that actually true? Last time I checked, the only way to compile applications for the Windows Mobile platform required that you have at least the "Standard" edition of Visual Studio, which will set you back $250. The free Express version can't do it. While the Qt toolkit is free, it requires that you have Microsoft's Windows Mobile SDK installed, which requires that you have VS Standard installed, so that won't work, either.

Is there some free development solution I don't know about?

Re:No crazy restriction for Windows Mobile Apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27427045)

I used Lazarus [freepascal.org] a freepascal ide.

forbids tethering? (2, Interesting)

seebs (15766) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426509)

I asked about tethering, they sold me a phone with a data plan. It works. They told me I could use it tethered.

WTF?

Re:forbids tethering? (3, Insightful)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426571)

They forbid tethering to the G1 with the $24.99 data plan.

The only way T-Mobile was going to sell any G1 phones at all was to lower the price of their unlimited data plan from $59 a month to $24.99 for G1 users.

They're not prepared to let you tether at that price.

And if you were told different, the sales jerks lied and you have a lawsuit on your hands.

Re:forbids tethering? (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426733)

I got a Motorola somethingorother a year ago with $19.99/month data which is either unlimited or enough that I've never hit the limit.

Re:forbids tethering? (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426839)

I have the T-Mobile $19.99 unlimited data plan and have been tethering for years...

Re:forbids tethering? (1)

fangorious (1024903) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426949)

I have the $5.99 t-zones unlimited web/email and I tether that just fine.

Re:forbids tethering? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27426957)

This is the fundamental problem.

US ISPs and Telcos need to stop offering "unlimited" if they don't mean it.
If they offered tiered pricing with shaping after a set limit, then they wouldn't have these issues.

Bandwidth isn't infinite, there's nothing wrong with paying more for using more.

Re:forbids tethering? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27426669)

TF is that you believed a salesman, foo.

They lie like vampires at noon.

See. Google is not your lord and savior, nerds (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27426537)

Why do so many nerds think Google is the greatest company on Earth?

It's not like they're an open company [slashdot.org] .

Advertising Agency = Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27426547)

The Android phone is an advertising appliance provided by the largest advertiser in history. All advertisers want as much information concerning their target market as they can get - the cell phone is just another way to gain more information about YOU.

Every time you use any google service or product, you are being tracked.

Every time you visit a web page where the webmaster uses google-analytics, you are being tracked.

Google is a business. Your habits and interests are their cash cow. I wouldn't expect anything less than them wanting to prevent use of this loss leading device in a way that they couldn't see all the data transferred. That cell phone is like being a TV-Nielson family with all your transactions scanned, correlated and indexed. Assuming you use the same account on you home and work PCs, then they have your entire online life captured.

Nice, huh?

T-Mobile BlackBerry tethering (3, Informative)

UnixUnix (1149659) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426579)

I have been using my T-Mobile BlackBerry as a tethered modem for years. Not only is it allowed, there is no extra charge for it -- tethering is included in the $20 per month I pay for regular Internet access by the device.

Re:T-Mobile BlackBerry tethering (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426845)

Same here... I don't think the issue is with T-Mobile.

April Fools! (-1, Troll)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426581)

April fools!!! ...right? ...RIGHT?!?

Android not open, news at 11 (3, Insightful)

SirJorgelOfBorgel (897488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426585)

Wow, I can't see how anybody could be even remotely surprised with this.

Android was touted as being open. But users are stuck with all kinds of limitations. This has been known since day one it was out there. Sure you can jailbreak it though, but wth. You can't even write native apps (well you technically can, but its not supported)

Why are people surprised at this move? Sure, the G1 is on sale in many countries around the world and not just by T-Mobile USA, but Google bends to T-Mobile USA anyways.

When you get down to it, the G1 is just a glorified Java-phone not deserving of ANY of the hype. Basically, you can compare it to an iPhone, but without the 'charm' of Apple, and it just doesn't really work half as well. And even worse than iPhone, you cant get these apps in Europe in the appstore either anymore.

And guess what, I actually am from Europe and have a tethering-allowed data plan - from T-Mobile! Not even Apple removed the tethering stuff for their EU users....

Google ... I've just shut off my G1 for the last time. Back to playing with WM. Hey it ain't as shiny as iPhone but at least there's none of this ridiculous crap involved.

Re:Android not open, news at 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27426649)

That'll show 'em!

Re:Android not open, news at 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27426735)

you can buy from other markets.... how much more open can you get? google fullfills requirements to partners while customers can still get the app if they wish to spend a bit more effort... Everyone wins... sort of.

Re:Android not open, news at 11 (1)

Lulfas (1140109) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426759)

Fixed before you typed your post. Go read the article and updates.

who cares? (1)

f1vlad (1253784) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426641)

I do understand why they do it. But any computer literate person can walk an easy walk-through steps on how to "root" your G1 and then install cracked app very easily. So who cares if they ban it. It's mostly geeks who buy these iphones I reckon, so most of them will be able to still tether away! :) I quite like mine, tethering works very well, but it kills battery instantly.

Bits are bits!!!! (1)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426643)

Why do carriers hate tethering so much?

Bits are bits, whether the phone's OS uses them or a tethered laptop.

Just set a monthly limit and be done with it. Yeah, a laptop can reach the limit sooner, but at least then everything will be on equal footing.

What's funny is that even providers that explicitly allow tethering charge more for it even though THE TRANSFER LIMIT IS THE SAME.

Re:Bits are bits!!!! (1)

ubernostrum (219442) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426717)

Why do carriers hate tethering so much?

Because the moment your phone can provide an Internet connection to your laptop is the moment the bottom falls out of pricey "business on the go" plans which include a plug-in card for your laptop.

You Ask The Wrong Questions (1)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426651)

Does this mean that apps in the Market have to adhere to the ToS for only T-Mobile, even when other carriers sign on? Will all apps have to adhere to the ToS for every carrier that supports Android phones?

You're asking the wrong questions, those are not the only possible outcomes. You need to take a look at option #3: Some apps will be restricted to customers of certain carriers. So the Anroid Market will not sell a tethering app to a T-Mobile customer because T-Mobile won't allow it, but they will to customers of [insert fictional non-sucky carrier here].

The "solution" doesn't need to be something complicated like trying to harmonize every carrier's TOS. Every carrier is different, and Google will respond to each of their different needs, just as they do when giving them Android in the first place.

Re:You Ask The Wrong Questions (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426859)

So the Anroid Market will not sell a tethering app to a T-Mobile customer because T-Mobile won't allow it, but they will to customers of [insert fictional non-sucky carrier here].

Any proof that this is because of T-Mobile?

Just a little mistake, it's already been fixed (4, Informative)

Virak (897071) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426665)

Quoth Ars Technica's article [arstechnica.com] on this same thing (which was updated well before Slashdot's was posted):

A Google spokesperson tells Ars, "We inadvertently unpublished the applications for all carriers, and today we have corrected the problem so that all Android Market users outside the T-Mobile US network will now have access to the applications. We have notified the affected developers."

And while I'm sure some people will complain about it being blocked to anyone at all, the fault here lies with T-Mobile. While it'd be nice if Google could dictate terms as it pleased to the carriers, I somehow don't think that'd go over too well. And on top of that, you don't even *need* to get software from the Android Market to install it (insert jab at iPhone here).

Im sure the issue is its for ROOTED phones (1)

bedammit (678849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426707)

I doubt it was pulled simply because its a tethering app. Its likely because it promotes people to root their phones. Start screaming when they ban pdanet...

yawn...

Why bound to a single carrier? (0)

nephridium (928664) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426723)

I was so enthusiastic when I read about android, being open source, free as is speech etc.. But then, the more I read and saw about the actual products the more I was whipped back into line, the coup de grace obviously being the very non-free-as-in-speech decision to sell it only through T-Mobile (and whatever that entails), just like previously the iPhone, (which Android phones where supposed to show how we do things in the "free" world).

So after all this I decided for Nokia's 5800XM [engadgetmobile.com] (cheaper now), which seems to do it just right. I am not bound to a specific carrier and added to that there was the recent announcement [slashdot.org] that they'll make the Symbian OS open source. I've installed Python [nokia.com] on it (which has a very alive [nokia.com] developer community) and now have easy direct access to the Bluetooth functions, phonebook, camera, music player, GPS etc.

Add to that an easily replaceable 1320 mAh battery (very useful especially when excessively using the internal GPS :p), Wifi and a slot for 16GB microSDs... - open source/Python and kick-ass hardware, what more could one want from a phone?

VPN traffic is also being blocked as of this week (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27426741)

I've been tethering my G1 for the past month, using CiscoVPN to connect to various clients. Today, VPN stopped working. HTTP traffic and the like seem to go through, but it appears that T-Mobile is filtering those VPN ports. Grrrrrr..

T-Mobile's tech support didn't get the memo. (2, Interesting)

WolfWings (266521) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426745)

Oookay, if T-Mobile bans tethering their phones, why have they helped me and my mom seperately to configure their phones to tether over bluetooth to our laptops? Hell, I'm running Linux, that didn't even phase them, they still helped me find the command-strings I needed!

Re:T-Mobile's tech support didn't get the memo. (2, Funny)

Krizdo4 (938901) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426807)

Oookay, if T-Mobile bans tethering their phones, why have they helped me and my mom seperately to configure their phones to tether over bluetooth to our laptops? Hell, I'm running Linux, that didn't even phase them, they still helped me find the command-strings I needed!

Tech support that helped with Linux settings? Wow, that's actually kind of cool.

Re:T-Mobile's tech support didn't get the memo. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27426895)

if T-Mobile bans tethering their phones, why have they helped me and my mom seperately to configure their phones to tether over bluetooth to our laptops?

Achievement or it didn't happen.

This meme's going to get old really fast, isn't it.

Please join my movement (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426747)

There's an increasingly popular scam being perpitrated on consumers as more and more devices coming onto the market do not give full control of their functionality to the person who actually bought and paid for it, because the seller wants a marketing model that allows them to double-dip or extort more money for old rope.
I now refuse to buy any product that does not give me, the owner, total control and use of it in any way I like.
Please join me in making this your policy too.
The only way we can end this problem is to send over-greedy manufacturers and service providers out of business. Lets put the power back in the hands of the consumers where it should belong.

Re:Please join my movement (1)

fucket (1256188) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426847)

I'll join. How much does it cost?

If only it wasn't April 1st... (1, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426791)

There are likely some people who think this is one of the thousands of joke stories that destroy the funniness of jokes by seriously over-doing it.

But hopefully people will take it seriously that Google is not more than "just a business." It is a business that has gathered up a lot of good will which it has been steadily spending over the past few years. They are a business that exists to sell advertising. They are a marketing company. Marketing companies, in my view, are just about as annoying as any business can be. In short, they make money by putting stuff in front of your eyes that you probably don't want to see.

And they do business with other businesses whose interests are primarily in getting the money in your pockets, your bank accounts and "money you haven't earned yet." [read: DEBT] In order to keep their business partners happy, Google has to abide by their wishes. [read: DEMANDS] If they didn't Google would be out of business because we don't give anything to Google except our eyeballs, which they, in turn, sell to their business clients. (In other words, Google == "Pimpin' Yer Eyes out to people who want your money!")

Google may have made promises, but so did Obama. I did not vote for Obama, but I hoped he would carry through with his... didn't work out that way and neither did Google. In the end, if you want "not evil" you will have to do it yourself.

Um, so? (1)

fabs64 (657132) | more than 5 years ago | (#27426877)

Google don't want to provide free hosting for an app that pisses off one of their partners. BFD.

I hardly see the issue, the guys who wrote this app were surely aware that google wouldn't want to subsidise its distribution?

There's nothing stopping them just hosting it themselves.

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