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June 19, 2009

iPhone "Advances"

Just about any phone you buy today has the capability of supporting MMS messages and if it supports an Internet connection it likely supports tethering. 

OK, we can hear your eyes crossing.  Here are some definitions.

MMS are basically phone media messages.  This format allows those without Internet connections to send pictures and videos to other computers and phones.  iPhone hasn't supported this standard that has been around for over a decade.

Tethering is a way to turn your Internet-enabled cell phone into a cellular modem for your computer. Gives the computer Internet access so you can do everything on the computer you could do if connected to standard wi-fi or wired into your DSL or cable modem. Hit any Starbucks in the morning and you're likely to see people working on their laptops with a wire running to their phones.  These people are tethered. iPhone will start supporting this later this year, in every country except the USA because of Cingular... er... AT&T's stranglehold on the phone.

Now comes rumors  that MMS will be supported later this year, wow, welcome to the party.  Tethering may show up too, but will sock the already expensive AT&T iPhone plans for another $55 to $70 a month!

Of course, most smart iPhone users are jailbreaking their phones to get such features and more through grey-market third parties.  And of course then their tethering will cost them nothing more than their standard internet fees. Face it, if you're paying for unlimited access already, it's a greedy play on AT&T's part to charge you again for more internet access.

Jailbreaking can free your phone, at the risk of Apple's wrath, it violates their abusive use agreement, but most smart technical users do it as a matter of course.  Their phone, their use.  Things like custom ring-tones, simple to add without the approval of Apple or AT&T on other smart phones (just use any mp3 you've downloaded) shouldn't be monetized through a monopoly.

You want to know the real irony here. If Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were kids today, they'd probably be working on insanely great jailbreak software.


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