iPhone Tethering, Best Tether Ever

The tethering experience on the iPhone 3G S with iPhone 3.0 OS is slick. Engadget’s how-to can get you up and running. After that, Internet access is attained in 1 step: Plug iPhone in to USB. Nothing more. That’s it. Plug it in and the tether initiates as seamlessly as plugging in a USB ethernet adapter.


Alternatively bluetooth can be used, but incurs the bluetooth bottleneck penalty like other mobile phone tethers. USB allows the full 3G. I’m also partial to leaving bluetooth and wi-fi off to conserve battery life.

So basically you plug in USB and immediately the network connection becomes active. Dead simple. No configuration and no dead phone battery.

Switching from BlackBerry Bold to iPhone 3G S

It’s almost been an annual pilgrimage. Each year since Apple’s release of the original iPhone I’ve jumped in and gotten one, only to get fed up with lousy messaging features and switch back to a BlackBerry.

The phone trail: BlackBerry Pearl 8100 -> iPhone -> BlackBerry 8800 -> iPhone 3G -> BlackBerry Bold 9000 -> iPhone 3G S

I really like the iPhone 3G. I lasted almost a full year, but something was missing. The push, immediate arrival of email, when one can blast messages out and get responses like an instant messaging client, is what I’ve always come back to on a BlackBerry.

This time there’s something different. It wasn’t as impressive with the BlackBerry email. And that must really suck for RIM because I know I’m not the only one who has grown out of their email awesomeness.

Gmail + push based IMAP and Exchange on the iPhone made BlackBerry email much less exciting when I switched back. If RIM can’t own the messaging space, they’re in for some trouble.

The other reason is that my team is doing some great things with the iPhone at Ingram Content. Customers can transfer their downloads through iTunes quickly and seamlessly. I’m using our own product on a daily basis and enjoying it (yes, I’m biased, but it’s still a good sign that a developer wants to eat the comapny’s dog food).

This post was written on the BlackBerry Bold 9000 during my morning train commute. I’ve been listening to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on the iPhone 3G. The upgrade to 3G S is this afternoon. You can download using our Ingram Media Manager for free through your public library.

Huge Disparity in iPhone 3.0 Adoption Stats – making sense of it

Ars Technica What’s the uptake on iPhone OS 3.0? covers how many reliable reports are reporting different stats for iPhone 3.0 adoption. Ars ends the article wondering why the numbers are so skewed. But it’s obvious, right?

– Apple’s download + 3.0 device sales stats = ~17%
– AdMob reports 44% of ads served are to 3.0
– WeightBot and ConvertBot app developers claim 79% are 3.0

This, to me, means:
– Apple’s stats are probably the most correct, overall, but that doesn’t mean a hill of beans to developers
– 44% of active web browsing users updated to 3.0
– 79% of app downloading owners updated 3.0
– Somewhere less than 56% of iPhone users don’t browse much web or download apps, or at lease not enough to splash these stats.

It’s not really an issue with skewed results, it’s an issue with understanding what these results really mean. As the leader of a team doing iPhone development, the world being around 79% adoption of 3.0 is fantastic. And for our future web apps, it’s very intersting (if it’s true) that less than 1/2 of iPhone users using the web are updated.

What’s really intersting is that 17% are on 3.0, or 7 million devices. If 79% of app users are 3.0, and if ALL of 3.0 users buy apps, there is a cap of 8,900,000’ish app buying iPhone owners out of 41 million (8.9 million times 79% is ~7 million).

The questions that come to my mind are:
– Does this mean 1 in 4.6 owners (41 million divided by the hypothetical 8.9 million) have purchased an app? They would have probably at least downloaded a free app. This is probably why Apple is pushing ads about app downloads… They’d like to increase this ratio.
– How many iPhone owners regularly use the web on the device? 1 in 2.5 (if 44% of web browsing owners are 3.0 versus 17% of overall device updates)?