Blog Post

Where did NetShare go?

I recently wrote Null River to inquire where the iPhone application NetShare went (For those of you not familar with the NetShare story: NetShare is an iPhone tethering application that allows users to use their iPhone’s internet connection on their personal computer. It was originally posted in the application store on August 1st, was removed by Apple without warning, was readded later that day, then a few hours later it was removed and never seen again). Here is the response I received:

Hello,

Thank you for your inquiry, a lot of users are wondering what’s going on with NetShare.

As of writing it is not available in any country on Apple’s AppStore — Apple has removed it from sale temporarily. Apple is working with us to get NetShare back onto the store as soon as possible. We will be posting updates on this at our web site: http://www.nullriver.com

If you use an RSS Reader such as Apple Safari or Apple Mail you can also keep subscribe to our RSS News feed here: feed://www.nullriver.com/rss

NetShare can be used with any software that supports SOCKS 5 Proxies. This includes Mac, Windows XP, Vista, Linux and many other operating systems and devices. We are working on guides to help setup with common configurations. In general however, most configurations are already covered online.

For help with Windows XP:
http://falaris.com/?p=154
http://www.wonderhowto.com/how-to/video/how-to-connect-netshare-to-win-xp-to-use-your-iphone-s-3g-web-225037/

For help with Vista:
http://www.shahine.com/omar/HowToTetherYourIPhoneToVistaIn5EasySteps.aspx

And for Mac OSX Users Apple Insider have put together a 10 step guide:
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/08/08/01/ten_step_guide_to_sharing_your_iphones_connection_with_netshare.html

We have a support section on our website which we hope to expand to cover more issues in future:
http://www.nullriver.com/support/contact/faqs?supportProductId=netshare

Based on NetShare’s answer it is fairly obvious that AT&T simply does not want users to have the ability to tether their phones. I’m sure in the next few weeks the app will make a re-apperance, and all users will have to pay AT&T some exuberant fee to be able to use the tethering feature (AT&T users who have other model phones that support the tethering ability have to pay an extra $30 a month to be able to use it).

NetShare’s story brings up a few interesting points including Apple’s ability to completely control which applications users can and cannot use on their phones (whether or not the application violates Apple’s & AT&T’s terms of use as NetShare DID NOT). Not only can Apple remove applications without warning from the store, but they can also remotely disable apps that are already installed on your phone. If anyone was able to snag NetShare before it was pulled, I’d love to know:

  1. If it still works
  2. If it does not work, did you get reimbursed?

12 Responses to “Where did NetShare go?”

  1. Nando Reis

    Hey, would any of you who were able to grab netshare before it was taken off be willing to send me the ipa of the aplication? Besides what difference does it make for att if i am surfing the web on my laptop or on my iphone? I will use it the same amount and load the same pages with no difference whatsoever of what I am seeing. In a way this is censorship and it is wrong. If anybody outthere would send me that ipa email me at: nando@santosreis.com. If you need help on how to find the ipa i can walk you through it. Thanks alot!

  2. Nicolai Hjorth

    Hey – what about us poor bastards in Europe. We pay per MB so it would not be a violation of TOS for us to use the iPhone as a router.

    Anyway, it is a two-faced problem with AppStore. On one hand it is nice that is some sort of checking (if there are at all) to the quality of software. But if it also means that Apple will control the software on AppStore for other than quality and stability, then it is a problem. Also like the Wii and Sony PS I do not like that it depends on where you are in the world what you can access.

    And now we are at it. Adobe Photoshop downloadable costs 2½ times as much in Denmark as in US. Hey! Watcha playing at. Thank god I have a company in NY that can serve as an address for me :D

  3. on Daring Fireball:

    “Furthermore, unlimited plans (except for DataConnect and BlackBerry tethered) cannot be used for any applications that tether the device (through use of, including without limitation, connection kits, other phone/PDA-to-computer accessories, Bluetooth or any other wireless technology) to laptops, PCs, or other equipment for any purpose.”

    As John Gruber makes a point (at least regarding the US market), “is whether Apple obligated to enforce this”?

  4. Mike Loiterman

    I bought it, and before I could sync my phone back to me MacBook Pro, I deleted it as well as all my other apps since I was having some sync problems. This was before I knew they removed it from the store.

    Once all my other apps were reinstalled and syncing correctly, I tried to re-download NetShare, but found that it was gone from the App Store. I emailed Apple and they said they could not allow me to download it again, but they did give me a refund.

  5. You wrote: “pay AT&T some exuberant fee ”

    I think you meant “exorbitant.”

    That said, it is annoying that Apple’s QC isn’t up to snuff on the App store.

  6. Just a quick point: I don’t know how you deduce that “it is fairly obvious that AT&T simply does not want users to have the ability to tether their phones” when Nullriver states that “it is not available in any country on Apple’s AppStore.” There are quite a number of wireless carriers involved internationally. AT&T is not the exclusive provider of wireless service for the iPhone in every single country.

    Also, while the most obvious assumption would be that the wireless carriers want to be able to charge for tethering, nothing is known for certain, thanks to the very cryptic and at times non-existent responses from Apple on the issue.

  7. I was able to get NetShare on the second time it made its appearance, and yes (at least so far) it still works. Even after the recent 2.0.1 firmware update and several sync’s afterward.

    Hopefully it will continue to work, although I am aware it breaks the TOS so I am very nervous about using it. I am really hoping it comes back with the approval from AT&T, even if it means an additional fee to use it without concern.