According to TechCrunch, the upcoming version of Android will have integrated USB and WiFi tethering, allowing you to share your phone's data connection either via a wired link to your laptop or by turning the smartphone into a MiFi-style mobile router. It's unknown whether carriers will be able to selectively deactivate the functionality, but we expect they'll be looking to add a little extra to your monthly data plan in order to cover tethering. Still, this is brilliant news if you don't want to pay for a separate 3G contract for every mobile device you have - say, tethering a tablet (like an iPad; I know, blasphemy!) or netbook while you're on the move. We've already heard that Froyo runs significantly faster than previous Android builds; this tethering leak is the cherry on the frozen yoghurt. Android 2.2 is expected to arrive at - or in time for - Google I/O next week, and Android Community will be there to bring you all the news.
androidcentral were lucky enough to get some hands on time with this beautiful yet powerful handset.
Verizon DROID by Motorola, the Big Red has a nice surprise waiting to happen. Verizon has confirmed that in early 2010 the DROID will have access to the Verizon Broadband Access Connect plan. As we all know, the Motorola DROID will launch this next Friday, November 6th at $199.99 after a mail-in rebate, and of course, new two-year agreement. And for those who are planning to get tethering with their DROID, well, it will likely be priced at the usual $15 per month on top of your regular data contract. Since a standalone data card from Verizon gets you a 5GB per month limit, we believe that would be the same with the DROID. But, as we mentioned before, you will have to wait until "early 2010" to be able to use your laptop on-the-go paired with your new Android phone by Motorola.
mass sweep of tethering applications from the Android Market earlier this week, Google have backtracked. Rather than a total ban, their suggestion is to leave tethering software available to "users outside the T-Mobile US network":
"We inadvertently unpublished your application for all mobile providers; if you like, we can restore your app so that all Android Market users outside the T-Mobile US network will have access to your application" Google statement to WiFi Tether for Root Users developerIt looks as though, as we suggested, Google has a filtering system which allows them to limit Android Market content depending on carrier. It's arguable whether that's good news or bad; one perspective is that at least developers can promote Android software that, while perhaps falling foul of some carriers' Terms of Service (ToS), would still be usable by those with unlocked devices on different networks. However, a different view might maintain that by giving in to carrier pressure, Google has set a precedent which could significantly impact future software, such as VoIP apps. The layering of ToS and distribution agreements involving users, carriers and Google themselves makes keeping track of which apps will be permitted, whether partially or totally, difficult, and it'll only get worse as more carriers sign up their own Android devices.