Friday, February 12, 2010

My iPad wish list : Tethering

I am getting the iPad but am getting a WiFi-only model. I expect it to come with inward internet tethering support so I can extend my existing iPhone 3G data plan to the iPad.

First off, this post is not about joining the "I want a camera on the iPad" bandwagon. Or the rant credited to Bill Gates about a poke pen, voice recognition and camera. I don't care about any of those. Actually, I do. I don't want them. I don't want to have to pay for them. No one is saying yet, where the camera should be facing: Facing me like the laptop or facing my friends like the iPhone. I don't want either of those. If any, I would rather say, make it a webcam, to face me. But then, I have to stream all that video over my little precious 3G bandwidth!! Ok. Enough of that. Please read on.

Since Steve Jobs announced the iPad on January 27, 2010, I have been preparing grounds to be one of the first to get it in my hands.

First thing I needed to do was find the money for it: I had this other Sony eBook Reader PRS-600 Touch Edition I purchased in September 2009. I had to immediately put it on eBay and it was won by this nice lady in Saskatchewan. So, I was $316 on my way. Then, my wife donated some $375 cash back she got from Costco/America Express. Money-wise I am ready and waiting for late March.

But here's the backdrop to my problem: I already have a 1GB data plan with Fido and it supports tethering. So, I can right now, use my MacBook Pro to access internet anywhere, either on the Snow Leopard or Windows 7 side of the Mac. The Macbook pairs with the iPhone in my pocket and am on my way to the internet through the iPhone's data plan.

I am getting a WiFi-only iPad 32 GB. I don't need a 3G data plan on every mobile device I have, duh! It just feels wrong! The iPhone takes up only about 200MB (max) of the 1GB data plan (and my usage is relatively heavy). I do everything else, including read iPhone kindle on the phone everyday (except stream movies) with the 3G plan all day; and when I get home, my WiFi takes over. So I never even hit 200MB a month. Fido won't give you tethering unless you have a >= 1GB data plan.

So, here's what I need Apple to have on-board the iPhone OS 3.2 (iPad OS): The Bluetooth services should include support for inward tethering (ie: just like the MacBook/Windows can find the iPhone's internet and connect to it, the iPad should be able to do that).

So, I want to have my iPhone in my pocket and transparently be browsing iBookStore on the train with my iPad on my palm, over Bluetooth. How's that? It's not a deal breaker for me, but it's going to make one really contented iPad user.

What'd you think?