Eric Stewart: Running Off At The Mouth

Tethering the Palm Pre

by Eric Stewart on Aug.07, 2009, under Cell Phones & Providers, Technology

For the years I’ve been a Sprint customer, I’ve been happy with them.  Recently, though, I’ve encountered issues with their decisions that have left me wondering if I should switch providers.  Thing is, they’re really not all that different from any other provider.

I have been able to Bluetooth tether pretty much every Palm Treo and BlackBerry I’ve had through Sprint, for free, as part of the data plans I’ve had.  Then comes the Palm Pre.

The code is there.  You can, actually, if you really really wanted to, access the Internet via Bluetooth through the Palm Pre … if it’s using the WiFi.  Try to use Sprint’s data network and you get a nasty message about how tethering isn’t allowed.  Even if you have an “unlimited” data plan.

So, here’s the solution … which, for me, involved a $10 donation:

First, learn about putting your Palm Pre in Developer Mode.  I ended up starting at this PreCentral article about homebrew apps.  The relevant steps are:

  1. Installing the webOS/Palm Pre SDK
  2. Learning how to put your Pre into Developer Mode (and you know, the first app you install should be the one that allows you to forgo the whole typing thing and just hit a button)

This will involve several resets of your Pre … but don’t worry about it.  It comes up faster than my Tour did when I had to reboot it.

The next part of this is heading over to MyTether’s websiteSign up to the forums.  Donate your $10.  Get the handy installers for the most recent version and voila!  You don’t even need to “root” the Pre for this.

The best thing about this app is that you can forget about Bluetooth, actually … you can share your Sprint data connection via the WiFi; MyTether even includes WEP encryption for its ad hoc WAP.

I don’t tether often.  In fact, I’m willing to bet that maybe only once or twice will I be tethering my Pre for an actual purpose beyond testing in the next year or so.  But I still like having that option, and I hate that, prior to the Pre’s release, there were signs that tethering was going to be allowed … and then it was pulled.

So, if you ever need to use your Pre as a modem, you’ll want to donate a bit of money to Raja and pick up MyTether.  There is a less feature-full version of MyTether that requires you root your Pre to install it, but the 2.0 version is worth it, I think.

Now if someone would just release an ssh terminal app into at least beta status that doesn’t require rooting the Pre …


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