AT&T may be just around the corner from fulfilling its promise to allow its customers to use an iPhone as a wireless modem for their laptop. The next version of the iPhone OS reportedly includes a tethering option that specifically mentions AT&T support.
In 2009, Apple released iPhone OS 3.0, which includes tethering support over a USB or Bluetooth connection. Although iPhone users in Europe and Asia got this ability, it was stripped out of the AT&T version of the system software for the smartphone.
People testing out the latest beta of the upcoming iPhone OS 4.0, however, have found that the tethering software instructs users to contact AT&T about adding this feature to their service.
This new feature will apparently be for any smartphone running the next version of Apple's operating system, which means that most current iPhone owners will have access to it... at a price. The phrasing used by the tethering app implies that AT&T intends to charge extra for the feature.
Other Features of iPhone OS 4.0
When iPhone OS 4.0 was officially announced last month, Apple CEO Steve Jobs started with its greater support for multitasking, which will allow third-party apps to perform some but not all their functions in the background, such as streaming music or downloading files.
Jobs also revealed other new features. Folders are going to be added to the application launcher, allowing users to more easily organize their software.
In addition, the next version of Apple's mobile operating system will include a social networking service for gamers, and the iBooks app that debuted with the iPad will be extended to the iPhone and iPod touch.
Coming this Summer
Apple says iPhone OS 4.0 upgrades for its more recent smartphones and handhelds will be released this summer. A new iPhone model with this OS version pre-installed is also expected to debut in the next few months.
The iPad won't be updated with the next version of this operating system until this fall.
Source: MacRumors Forums
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