The release of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) new iPhone OS 4.0 beta 4 indicates the next version of the smartphone will likely offer U.S. consumers data tethering, a feature long desired by AT&T (NYSE:T) subscribers. iPhone tethering--enabling consumers to share their device's web connection with a laptop via Bluetooth or USB connection--is already available in overseas markets, and was widely expected to make its AT&T debut last summer in conjunction with the release of the iPhone 3GS. While tethering has yet to materialize a year later, the fourth edition of the iPhone (expected to launch sometime in the next few months) should change that: Developers who've downloaded the iPhone OS 4.0 beta 4 report a new configuration page for Internet tethering, informing AT&T customers to contact the operator or visit its website if they wish to activate the feature.
Related developer discoveries in iPhone OS 4.0 beta 4 include a revamped homescreen allowing for greater customization, giving users the flexibility to select a new backdrop from a series of default wallpaper patterns--the new homepage also groups together applications like weather and stocks under one Utilities button, freeing up space for additional apps. In addition, iPhone 4.0 boasts new messaging options like previews, repeat alerts and toggling tools. Gizmodo also reports that most applications "somehow feel faster and more responsive."
For more on the iPhone OS 4.0 beta 4:
- read this PCWorld article
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