Last year, iTether hit the App Store and was promptly pulled when Apple discovered it let customers share their phone's mobile broadband connection without paying for a carrier tethering plan. After a few months of inactivity, Tether is now back as an HTML5 app.
The new HTML5 version of Tether creates a wireless connection using an ad-hoc network. Setup the ad-hoc network on your PC, login to your tether account using the browser on your iPhone and you can enjoy a jailbreak-free shared data connection. The service now costs $30 a year, though it is on sale now for $15 as a promotion.
We talked to the developers behind Tether about their new HTML5 app. Read on to learn what they have to say about why they chose HTML 5 and what happens to customers using the iOS version. There's also a demo video showing the new Tether app in action.
Question: What made you decide to go the HTML 5 route?
Answer: HTML5 was the obvious choice when Apple decided to block us from their App Store. The beautiful thing about the web is no matter how hard you try to stop innovation and block things, there's always people finding ways around it.
Question: What were some of the technical challenges you faced when you decided to go with an HTML5 app?
Answer: There were a number of challenges; unfortunately we can't actually legally disclose them because of our patents we have filed.
Question: Will the clients on the other mobile platforms also move to this HTML 5 app?
Answer: At this time the application only works very well on iOS devices. We are evaluating other platforms but have not tested them.
Question: Can Apple or the carriers find a way to block your web app from working?
Answer: Anything is possible. It's impossible for us to understand what carriers/Apple will do. Our goal is to work collectively with carriers and handset manufacturers to provide tethering as a native product.
Question: You say the data is encrypted. Is it encrypted from end to end? I'm thinking of people who might visit their bank and any security concerns they may have.
Answer: We encrypt the data connection directly from the PC to our Proxy.
Question: What happens to your current customers who bought Tether when it was in the app store? Will their service continue to work? Will they have to pay again to use the new HTML 5 service?
Answer: iTether users can continue to use the service, we just suggest they do not update. If they wish to use our new HTML5 version they will need to pay again. This is the unfortunate position that Apple left us in.
Question: Is there anything else you'd like the public to know about the app or your company?
Answer: Any more info can be found at: http://tether.com/blog/