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T-mobile “temporarily” removes tethering from the G2

I find it more than sad that, as a non root customer, your Android device has different features based on carrier. If I could lodge one single complaint about Android right now, its that the spirit if the Nexus One did essentially nothing. It could have really done some good, but it didn’t. I dont blame Google, not entirely anyway. The carrier involvement had largely been one of the reasons we saw such a calling for another Stock Android, or “Google Experience” phone. Well, it seems that not even stock is the holy grail we thought it would be, since T-mobile has “temporarilly” removed tethering from the upcoming G2.

When Android and Me reported the tip this morning, it was kind of a kick in the chest. Officially, T-Mobile claims that they do not support tethering of any kind, and there are no pricing points available for those willing. This is an oddity for me on several points. First, I’ve tethered on my G1, CLIQ, MT3GSlide, and Nexus One without root. Second, every T-Mobile store I have ever been in recommends Easy Tether to new Android users, so they are more than aware that tethering happens on their network. Third, Barnacle wifi tether has been available for a LONG time, and T-Mobile has been more than aware of it’s root-required existence.

So why remove the feature, especially when it’s not going to stop anyone? It’s a bad sign for the future, in that of the four carriers, T-Mobile had been the least invasive as far as Android was concerned. I sincerely hope that this is in fact temporary, and does not lead to further butchering and exploiting of Android.

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  1. It’s a business decision for T-Mobile, that allows them the flexibility to charge for that feature in the future, just like AT&T or Verizon, plus limits their liability when supporting phone as modem. I don’t see it as a fail on T-Mobile’s part to choose to limit tethering on any of their devices – just business sense.

    There are plenty of options for tethering your smartphone to your laptop for use as a modem, and sales people know it, even if their carrier doesn’t officially support it. My favorite is PDAnet – outlined here: http://bit.ly/dys5fA

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