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On demand iPad internet tethering via an iPhone (jailbroken)

The iPad 2 is a wonderful tool with an app for everything (like the iPhone ;-). As a FT's staff, I have enjoyed a huge discount on the purchase of my iPad 2 and I'm loving it. Very light and the large screen is a real comfort for the eyes. Enough of iPad praising, this is not the aim of this post.

The big advantage of the iPad 2 is to be small and portable, which means you will take it with you outside of your home, away for your fast internet broadband WIFI connection. So unless you want to invest £100 extra for the 3G version you're a little bit stuck. Even though I had the discount from the Financial Times, I didn't want to put more money for the 3G version and opted for the 32GB iPad instead. The reason why is, for the 3G iPad 2, I would need to pay £100 extra but also would need to subscribe to a 3G mobile broadband contract which is redundant to my iPhone 4's contract. Having an unlimited mobile data contract I just don't see why I should get another 3G contract...

Having already jailbroken my iPhone 4, I have used an excellent piece of software called MyWi. It's a commercial app that transforms your iDevice into a WIFI access point. You can thus connect any device to the internet by having it connect to your mobile WIFI network. Intelliborn, the company behind MyWi, have also developed another wonderful add-on called MyWi On-Demand. This add-on, after being installed on both of your iDevices, will allow the 'client' to connect to the 'host' via Bluetooth automagically. All I had to do was pairing the iPad with the iPhone and just forget about that. Since, when I switch my iPad on, a few seconds later I hear my iPhone (in the pocket) giving the MyWi connection tone and my iPad is connected, simples skwiieekkk (meerkat's sound).

Now lets talk about Jailbreaking. I'm not going to describe you this as it is now widely known, but to be brief, it allows you to free your iDevices from Apple's jail. After jailbreaking your iDevice, you will be able to install any third party app even if it hasn't been approved by Apple. Lets first clarify some of the Jailbreak Myths:

  • Jailbreaking will brick your iDevice. This used to be true, but it is not anymore. Remember that jailbreaking is achieved by trying to guess how Apple did their stuffs, so of course on the very first attempts there were bugs, but after all those years, the technique have been improved a lot and is now very stable.
  • Jailbreaking is illegal. It is not anymore. You've bought your iDevice, you should be able to install what ever is installable on it. Read more about this here: "Go ahead and jailbreak, it's legal now"
  • All interesting apps are on the AppStore. You can't be more wrong. Loads of interesting apps are on AppStore, but loads of them are also on Cydia, the AppStore for the Jailbreak community. A few example: MyWi as described above, SBSettings (a floating control panel that shows up when you slide your fingers on the top menu), IntelliScreen (a dashboard on your lock screen), Winterboard (powerful app to customize anything: design, ring tones, keyboard, look of your SMS app...), Infinidock (no limit to the number of icon on the dock) etc...
  • Apps for Jailbroken iDevice are all pirated apps. No, Cydia apps are all original, some are for free some are commercial (such as MyWi).
  • It's too complicated to jailbreak. It can sound daunting but jailbreak is made easy by a lot of tools such as RedSn0w, but you cannot make it easier than the latest jailbreak tool: Jailbreakme.com all you need to do (if you have iOS 4.3.3 or an iPad 2) is to use your iDevice's Safari and browse to http://jailbreakme.com/ click on the 'Free' button, it will transform to a 'Install' button, click it, one second later (literally) you're done. More details on the Dev-Team's blog.

Now if you have decided to dive in and give jailbreaking a go, then good for you, enjoy all the tools Apple (and mobile broadband providers) are afraid that you would discover.

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