It seems that the days of silly iPhone tethering workarounds may be coming to an end (for those who are willing to pay for it.) Rumor has it that AT&T might finally launch an iPhone tethering plan, which would allow owners of the iPhone 3G to use the phone as an Internet access point. Now, we know that MacWorld 2009 kicks off tomorrow, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the tethering plan will be announced there, but as our friends at Ars bring up, the functionality would likely require an iPhone OS update, and that in and of itself might be newsworthy enough to be mentioned tomorrow morning, if all of this comes to fruition.
The costs may outweigh the benefits, depending on your travel schedule and how much you’d plan on using the tethering option, as we are expecting the cost to be at or around $30 per month. A little spendy, we think, unless you plan on using it frequently - but then the issue of the iPhone battery comes in to play. Sure, you can plug it in to a USB port, but unless your notebook is plugged in to a power source, then you are using up extra notebook battery life. Or, you could just use a Mophie Juice Pack.
The fact that there was never an official tethering plan for the iPhone has always been odd to us, since other AT&T smart phones have those plans ready from the get go. Let’s hope this rumor rings true.
Read More | TUAW
Don’t wanna splurge on something like an iPhone or BlackBerry? After checking out the Palm Centro, we think this might be the device to pick up for that loved one. You can get one for as low as $49.99 on AT&T, and it’s a great introductory smartphone - a huge step-up from your typical flip camera or music phone. It supports instant messaging, web browsing, has a full QWERTY keyboard, 320x320 touchscreen, media player, 1.3-megapixel camera, 64MB internal storage, and Bluetooth. Seriously, that isn’t bad for a $50 smartphone. Oh, even better? Pick it up on Amazon, and it’s free with contract.
Read More | Palm Centro on Amazon
So you don’t have an iPhone or other web-enabled phone, you’re away from your computer and you’re tired of shelling out your precious greenbacks for 411 services; is there any other option? Well, you could just keep on calling 411, the phone companies love it when you do that – a quick check reveals that Verizon charges $1.49 per call and both AT&T and Sprint charge a piggy bank busting $1.79 per call – or you could give Google or Microsoft a call, they’ll take care of you for free. Google’s service, “GOOG-411” can be accessed by calling 1-800-GOOG-411, while Microsoft’s “Live Search 411” can be accessed by calling 1-800-CALL-411.
Both systems use voice recognition technology (you won’t be able to speak with a real human) to provide directions to and phone numbers of millions of destinations across the United States and Canada, connecting you to your destination and sending you a text message containing the requested information if you so desire.
Which service is right for you? You’ll have to try them both out and decide for yourself. I surprised myself by choosing the Microsoft service as my favorite. Stranger things have happened…
Check out the video (up top) for an introduction to the Google service.
Now that’s what we’re talking about! AT&T Movility President Ralph De La Vega just dropped the official word that the iPhone will be gaining the ability to be wirelessly tethered to notebooks, giving you 3G internet access on your laptop wherever your iPhone has a 3G signal. Just about every other smartphone that is the caliber of the iPhone has this ability, so it’s been a long time coming. No definite date given or anything, but at least now we know that iPhone tethering is on the horizon.
Read More | Technologizer
The new BlackBerry Bold, which was released yesterday, is suddenly coming to Wal-Mart at an amazing price: FREE.
Billed as the BlackBerry Bold Unlimited, the catch to this seemingly great deal is that you have to sign on with a two-year contract, at least a 1350 minute talk plan and unlimited text messaging, on top of the required BlackBerry data plan – not a bad deal if you talk and text that much anyway. The deal is through LetsTalk, if you’d like to skip the middleman and order direct from them.
Read More | Wal-Mart Online Circular
If you’re in Reno and you use AT&T as your broadband Internet provider, you’re now unfortunately the latest victim of this whole capped bandwidth nonsense that seems to be taking hold across the US. It started when Comcast implemented a 250GB per month cap on October 1. Now word has hit that metered billing of between 20-150GB per month is going to be tested in Reno on AT&T’s DSL network. If you are a new customer who’ll be apart of the trial, depending on the speed tier you choose, you’ll get a cap somewhere between 20 and 150 gigabytes per month. If you’re an existing customer, you’ll be chosen to be a part of the trial if your monthly bandwidth happens to exceed 150GB in a month.
The trend is something we are vehemently against, so I figured I’d ask one of the Verizon PR reps that I know on Twitter, Kevin Laverty, if we should expect a similar announcement from Verizon, after another Verizon rep said no. His answer:
That’s an affirmative - Verizon has no plans to cap bandwidth on either its FiOS or High Speed Internet/DSL services.
It doesn’t get much clearer than that. It’ll be a nice bullet-point for Verizon if they can say that FiOS is not only faster, but also is completely uncapped as far as usage goes.
By now, you have probably seen the new BlackBerry Bold Commercial, the one that says almost nothing but “wow.” Wow again at the proposed price when it comes out. AT&T has announced that the RIM device will cost $299.99 with a 2 year contract, more than they charge for the iPhone. Sales should begin around November 4 to welcome in the upcoming holidays. The Bold will support international navigation services and Wi-fi for folks who do a lot of traveling. One analyst, Chris King of Stifel Nicolas, says the appeal will be mostly exec types. Those that can probably will.
Read More | Reuters
The new AT&T Samsung Epix i907 has been showing up in AT&T stores recently as expected. The phone is basically a Blackjack, but benefits from a touch screen incorporating Haptic feedback, a QWERTY keyboard and optical mouse. The phone uses Windows Mobile 6.1 for the Core OS and supports 850MHz, 1900MHz, 2100MHz HSDPA 3G networks and carries a built-in GPS. The i907 also incorporates a microSD slot, 2 megapixel camera, and costs $199 with a 2 year contract. If the iPhone isn’t your thing because tactile QWERTY keyboard is needed, this may be for you.
Read More | BoyGeniusReport
UPDATE: Watch the full video of our iPhone 3G line experience.
We had no idea that our quest to grab a few iPhone 3G units at launch here in the Seattle area would turn out to be an utter fiasco. Last year, when the original iPhone launched, we had a much longer wait in line (over 19 hours versus just over 8 hours) last year, and were further back in the line to boot. However, it was a complete failure on both Apple and AT&T’s part in making sure that the experience went as smoothly as possible.
Oh, sure, we finally have our iPhone 3Gs working and in good shape, but it took much, much longer to get them in that condition than it should have. Read on as we relive the events that took place earlier this afternoon at the Alderwood Mall Apple Store. Oh, and credit for that photo of Sparky walking out after being first in line goes to Jim Valley.
We already told you about our crazy iPhone 3G launch day purchase fiasco, but now we wanna hear from you guys. Was what we experienced accurate? Did you just end up flying through purchase and activation, with no problems at all? Or was your experience more like ours, where things seemed to go wrong at every turn? Let us know!
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