Users are just happy that they will be able to use the iPhone on Verizon’s network. However, what made many fan’s fingers twitch in excitement was the sub-announcement of the Personal Hotspot feature. As it looks, this could become standard in the not overly distant future.
As some got to test the CDMA version of the iPhone 4 at yesterday’s Verizon event, it was found that Apple was using a newer version of the iOS. It is likely that this yet unreleased version was necessary to communicate with the CDMA chipset, but also provide some new features, like the Personal Hotspot.
Last month, we already had rumors of iOS 4.3 including the option for some developers to use a subscription payment model for apps instead of the current one-time pay method for features.
Today, Boy Genius Report mentioned that a source informed them iOS 4.3, with a build number of 8F5148b, will include Personal Hotspot as a standard feature, however, likely controlled (enabled/disabled) using something like the Carrier Settings file. This was the case for tethering, where AT&T was one of the last to the party.
The identified iOS on the CDMA iPhone was v4.2.5, build number 8E128. With BGR’s source claiming that iOS 4.3 is planned to reach Golden Master status sometime in march, it would make sense that Apple and Verizon needed an intermediary version until then.
Looking at the screenshots, a few things caught me off guard. Location Services is being displayed under the initial Settings section, instead of being under the Settings –> General area like it is now, and Personal Hotspot is listed under both Settings and Settings –> General –> Network.
If this feature is indeed tied to the Carrier Settings file, or something similar, it is likely to be hacked as easily and quickly as the original method to enable unauthorized tethering for AT&T customers. I’m just hoping that AT&T feels intimidated enough by Verizon to officially offer it for iPhone 4 customers, and even allow use for us still unlimited data plan folks.