SiliconFilter

Apple Approves $15 iPhone Tethering App That Circumvents Carrier Fees (Update: And It’s Gone…)

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iPhone users have their choices of data plans, but unless you opt for an expensive plan that includes tethering or subscribe to a separate tethering plan, turning your iPhone into a WiFi hotspot for you phone is not an option. Jailbreakers, of course, always had the option to turn their iPhones into rogue hotspots. Now, however, Apple has approved iTether, a $15 app that allows Mac and Windows users to connect their iPhones to their computers over USB and then get online over a 3G connection without the need for a special tethering plan. You can download the app here.

Update: Apple has pulled the app.

App Store  iTether

It’s not clear how this app slipped through Apple’s famously thorough approval process. As MacRumors notes, the developers just posted a note on Twitter, saying that they were “very clear with Apple” about what their app does. According to the developers, Apple asked them “a bunch of questions and then approved us.” Either Apple really wants to see this app in the App Store, or somebody pressed the wrong button somewhere (something similar happened when Apple approved and then quickly pulled an app called “Netshare” in 2008).

Developer’s Site is Down, So You Can’t Use the App Right Now

Because of the way the app works, users have to download a piece of software that runs on their laptops (Mac or Windows).

As the company is currently getting so slammed by potential users that it’s servers have broken down, you can’t actually use the app right now as you can’t download the software for your laptop. Those who were able to get to the site and install all the required softwarereport that it’s working as advertised.

How Long Until Apple Pulls the App?

Carriers like AT&T, of course, won’t be very happy about this. In the past, AT&T especially has been known for going after jailbreakers who installed tethering apps. It’s quite likely that AT&T will also go after iTether users.

It remains to be seen how long this app will remain available in the app store, so if this is something you really want, now is probably the time to get it. There is always a chance that Apple approved this by accident, after all.



7:56 am


Salesforce Launches Free Task Management Tool Do.com

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There definitely isn’t a dearth of web-based task management solutions on the market today. From basic tools like Remember the Milk to professional, more project-management-oriented solutions for teams like Producteev or Basecamp, the current crop of tools covers virtually every aspect of keeping you and your team organized. With Do.com, Salesforce, which is better known for its enterprise CRM solutions than free tools, wants to offer users a free “prosumer” task management solution that is geared more towards small businesses and individual users.

Do.com was developed on top of Salesforce’s own Heroku cloud-computing platform and is written in HTML5. Thanks to this, the web app works well on iPads and other tablets, though there is also a native app for the iPhone already (with an Android app planned for next year).

Do.com is currently in private beta. You can request an invite on do.com or look around the net for invite codes.

Solid Feature Set With Smart Google Docs and Gmail Integration

Do.com should be especially appealing to users who current use Google’s cloud-based solutions, as it integrates nicely with both Gmail and Google Docs. Files from Google Docs, for example, can be attached to tasks with just a few clicks, making Do.com a nice platform for collaborating around them.

While flexible enough to accommodate most task management philosophies, the apps should be quite appealing to those who follow the popular Getting Things Done methodology, as it allows you to break tasks down into manageable chunks.

Free Tools from Salesforce?

Salesforce isn’t exactly known for making free tools. I first heard about Do.com when I talked to Saleforce VP Sean Whitely at the company’s Dreamforce conference in San Francisco earlier this year. At the time, he also acknowledged that doing a free product like Do.com was somewhat of an anomaly in the company’s ecosystem. The app, however, is also meant to work seamlessly with Salesforce’s standard CRM solutions and could become somewhat of a gateway to bring new users to the company’s paid solutions for businesses.

Overall, Do.com feels like a solid task management solution. There isn’t anything revolutionary here, but if you’re looking for an easy to use tool for managing small teams, it’s definitely worth a try (especially given that it’s free).



5:14 pm


Delta Now Offers WiFi on All Flights

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Until today, there were only two airlines in the U.S. that offered WiFi Internet access on all of their planes: Virgin America and Southwest Airlines subsidiary AirTran. Today, Delta is joining this group. Delta itself apparently didn’t think that this was enough of an accomplishment to warrant its own press release, so the news is actually somewhat hidden in the announcement of its new Business Class menu.

Given that it’s often hard to predict whether your flight will have WiFi on board or not, this announcement is a big deal for frequent Delta fliers who can now rest assured that they will be able to get online and check their email at 37,000 feet.

Exception: Regional Jets

Delta uses Gogo’s in-flight across its mainline fleet. The exception, though, are regional jets. These flights are generally outsourced to smaller companies and while they feature the mainline logo, are actually flown by crews from other organizations like Pinnacle Airlines, Mesaba or Comair.

Free for August

As our friends at Jaunted note, Delta will also offer free WiFi for the month of August, sponsored by Diet Coke. Just use the code DIETCOKEGOGO when you are on a Delta flight and get online for free.



8:57 pm