iPhone OS 3.0 Questions
June 18, 2009 4:37 PM   Subscribe

With the release of iPhone OS 3.0, I have some questions that I'd like answered. One relates to Stereo Bluetooth headphone recommendations, and the others relate to internet tethering.

Firstly, let's get to my questions about the new ability to tether devices to your iPhone in iPhone 0S 3.0.

1. Most reports suggest that those carriers that do end up allowing tethering will charge you for it. Why? I ask because I don't understand their reasoning for charging for tethering and would like to know if there is a legitimate reason to do so aside from profiteering. Tethering a device to your iPhone won't allow you to get any more data than you already pay for in your data packs, right? If so, there's no data you're getting for free and theoretically no extra strain on their network. So what is the phone companies justification for essentially charging you twice for the same data allocation?
2. How would a phone company even know that a device has been tethered to your phone and is using the data? How do they differentiate between your iPhone using data and your tethered device using data?
3. Would it be possible to tether an iPod Touch (2G) to an iPhone?
4. Has anyone read anything about Telstra (Australia) enabling tethering? My Google-fu has failed me.

And now onto my final question, which is much simpler. Stereo Bluetooth headset recommendations. iPhone 0S 3.0 has unlocked the iPod Touch's Bluetooth capabilities to allow for stereo Bluetooth headsets to be used to listen to music. I've done some research and found a few possible headphones that might be worth buying but some have weird form factors, others are 'in-ear' buds which I find uncomfortable and others are great but otherwise too expensive.

Does anyone here have any personal recommendations for a good set of stereo Bluetooth headphones, compatible with an iPod Touch, that are comfortable to wear, deliver good (or even decent) sound and don't cost the Earth?
posted by Effigy2000 to Technology (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
1. Yes it's price gouging considering its already supposed to be an unlimited data plan. Note there would be an increased cost to the provider from the increase in traffic but its likely nowhere near what you'd pay for tethering. It's also likely seen as a "business" solution where enterprises are not as price sensitive and more likely to pay.

2. They can't really, which is why you can already tether via the iphone with a jailbroken phone.
3-4. (dunno)
posted by bitdamaged at 4:48 PM on June 18, 2009

1. Also there's a slight misconception here about "unlimited" data plans. Just because your use is unlimited, they're not actually allocating for you a dedicated chunk of bandwidth - they're just not limiting what you use. The increase in traffic due to tethering will cause additional bandwidth concerns for the cell company.
posted by bitdamaged at 4:51 PM on June 18, 2009

Don't have an iPhone, but for bluetooth stereo, I was pretty satisfied with a Jabra BT3030. Most BT stereo headsets will have the receiver built into the headphones, making them larger than normal, and putting the mic and controls way over at your ear. This model puts the receiver, controls, and the mic in a package about as big as a dogtag and 1cm thick. I usually remove the neckchain and put it in my pocket, taking it out and talking into it when the phone rings.
You can use the included headphones, or replace them with any 'phones that will plug into the standard headphone jack in the unit. Charges with mini-usb, possibly the same plug as your phone - battery life is not very long, but does fine for a train commuter or out for a run and some errands.
posted by bartleby at 5:03 PM on June 18, 2009

Response by poster: What if you're not on an unlimited plan, though? Take me, for example. I have a 150MB data cap for my iPhone, which is all I need and I barely ever use all of it. If I tether, as long as I'm not exceeding that quota, I can't see any justification for a phone company to charge you for the 'privledge' of connecting another device to use that 150MB worth of data, beyond them making some extra cash.
posted by Effigy2000 at 5:03 PM on June 18, 2009

The simple answer is that they charge for tethering because they can. People who really need it will pay for it.

The longer answer is that they charge for it because they assume you wouldn't bother using the Internet on your phone as much as you could on your laptop tethered to your phone. In a sense, it's "easier" for you to surf on a laptop over a phone, meaning you'll use the connection more, meaning you're putting more strain on their network.

And as I understand, without deep packet inspection, they shouldn't be able to tell tethering data apart from phone data. They would have to really be interested in a single user to go that deep. They probably wouldn't bother in almost any scenario.

Can't really give any recommendations on the Bluetooth headphones, though.
posted by joshrholloway at 5:12 PM on June 18, 2009

I have a pair of the Motorola Motorokr S9 stereo BT headphones (site has embedded audio), and I've been pretty happy with them. You can get them in bulk (i.e., plain, no frills) packaging from Amazon for US$50 or so. I was previously using them with a Sony BT dongle, but I discovered yesterday they work fine with the iPhone 3.0 OS. Not very good as a telephone headset, as they sound tinny to the other party, but they're fine as stereo headphones.
posted by mosk at 6:11 PM on June 18, 2009

3. Should be but it's a little early to say.

Regarding blowtooth: I've tried to pair my Jaybird headphone/headset with the iPod Touch 2G and while the pairing worked, no audio came out. I'm not happy and suspect there may be some problems here.
posted by chairface at 8:55 PM on June 18, 2009

iPhone 2G doesn't support stereo bluetooth, not sure if that affects your headset, chairface.
posted by exhilaration at 2:12 PM on June 22, 2009

You should be able to set up wifi tethering using a jailbroken iphone 3G and tether the ipod touch to it.

I have no idea why you would want to do this, though.
posted by CharlesV42 at 12:37 PM on October 1, 2009

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