So you’ve got a brand new iPhone 3G S and you want to know if you can use the AT&T tethering workaround everyone’s been talking about? Yes, yes you can. It’s all remarkably easy. It’s almost like Apple wants us to use this workaround — at least that’s the story I’m telling myself.
The good folks over at 9to5 Mac have the step-by-step guide, but essentially all you need to do is run a quick terminal command to turn on the preference in iTunes, download an iPhone carrier update file, restore the iPhone, and as Steve would say, “Boom.” You’re all set to start tethering, just navigate over to Settings → General → Network → Internet Tethering on your iPhone and throw the switch to the “On” position. If your Bluetooth isn’t running at the time, it will generously offer to switch that on for you. At that point, just connect your phone to your laptop through Bluetooth (if you haven’t connected before you will have to pair them) and you’ll be sharing some 3G goodness.
All told, it took about 5 minutes to get it working. I did a quick test checking e-mail, browsing around, etc., and the speed over 3G was pretty good. Right after the connection was established, I did happen to get a nice little welcome SMS from AT&T, but I don’t know if that was coincidence or by design. I’m assuming the message was just the normal welcome everyone gets with a newly activated phone, and that it just happened to be remarkable timing.
It’s unclear what implications the use of tethering in this manner will have for your monthly bill from AT&T, so please use at your own caution. It’s at least nice to know though that I can use it in a pinch if needed. Hopefully AT&T will soon catch up with the rest of the iPhone providers and establish an officially supported way to take advantage of this functionality.
Worth noting is that some users have experienced trouble with their visual voicemail following this procedure. If you do have trouble accessing that feature, simply navigate to Settings → General → Network → Cellular Data Network and within the Visual Voicemail section add “acds.voicemail” into the APN field. Once that is done, you will be able to once again use your visual voicemail.