We all know that carriers allow or block certain applications to and from the market — some for the better, and others for the worst like we have here. Obviously carrier specific apps like Verizon’s NFL Mobile are only accessed by Verizon devices and are blocked to the rest. It now seems Verizon is taking this a step further and are blocking apps in the market, even ones you’ve already purchased.

Part of this is nothing new. In an attempt to block users from rooting and tethering their connections and sucking up Verizon’s bandwidth they’ve blocked or tried to stop users from downloading popular “root required” tethering apps such as Easy Tether, Wireless Tether and more. Today this entire story seems to be taking a turn for the worst. Before Verizon was just blocking apps they deem to violate their terms, but what if you’ve paid for the app and used it for months and now it suddenly wont work, or they block the updates. Not cool right?

The image above tells the story quite well. The big yellow banner appeared on a Reddit users Verizon Wireless phone while trying to update his paid version ($9.99) of EasyTether. Verizon is now blocking not only the apps, but it appears they are able to block users from updating said applications too. So, when new phones come out that need to be added to the supported list and the apps require updates or fixes users are out of luck. What if you flash a new custom ROM, will this app you’ve paid for be missing from the market? Are we just out the $9.99, tough luck?

Obviously this is a fine line here as illegally tethering your connection — especially those with unlimited accounts that are basically getting internet for free are doing something that violates the terms of their contract, and not very nice. Some users tether to their home computers and consume huge amounts of data. While we don’t condone stealing or pirating, what Verizon might be doing here is pretty bad too. We don’t know if this is an isolated event or not but will be sure to dig deep and get to the bottom of the situation.

Note: Users can enter airplane mode (killing data connection) and then update these applications over Wi-Fi networks, but that is just a temporary solution that may not last either.

[via Droid Matters]

  • Matt Mossholder

    Just to clarify, since you are perpetuating a myth, and it is to the advantage of the mobile carriers… 

    Tethering isn’t “illegal”. It isn’t against the law. 

    The issue is that it is against the terms of your contract with the carrier.

  • Danielle Bourgeois

    I think they would be on very shaky legal ground if they blocked you from updating over your wifi network, as they own neither the phone nor the wireless network.

  • Anonymous

    ,.. awesomee ..
    I just got a $827.89 Samasung Galaxy Tab for only $103.37 and my mom got a $1499.99 HTV for only $251.92, they are both coming tomorrow. I would be an idiot to ever pay full retail prîces at places like Walmart or Bestbuy. I sold a 37″ HTV to my boss for $600 that I only paid $78.24 for.
    I use http://alturl.com/4bnoj

  • I have EasyTether and use it to connect to my online school when away from home. I will simply use ASTRO File Manager to back it up to SD and then install it to the new phone. Suck it Verizon I paid for the app and will use it.

  • Doesn’t seem unreasonable to block an app that circumvents their terms of service.  Tethering costs extra because full-featured PC browsers transfer more data, and because some jerks use it for torrents and clog the system for everyone else.  The root of your complaint is that Verizon’s TOS agreement (which you signed) says you can’t tether without paying them extra, not that they are blocking apps on a whim.  Violating TOS is a valid reason to pull an app, especially if the developer is earning money by helping people violate their TOS.  (Which leads to situations like yours, where the money you paid the guy is now lost.)

  • krjames

    “… basically getting internet for free”? Um, no, not even a little bit true. Unless perhaps you’d care to pay my “basically free” bill…?