Just about every iPhone and every Android device currently on the market supports a nifty little feature whereby the phone will act as a wireless hotspot that any normal WiFi enabled device can use to access the internet. Need to check something out on your iPad, download a new book on your Kindle, upload a high score from your Nintendo DS? Turn on tethering, do what you need to do, then turn tethering off. Symbian devices can tether, but the feature isn’t baked into the operating system. Anyway, Microsoft’s mobile operating system, Windows Phone, supports tethering, but not all devices have it enabled for reasons we don’t quite understand. Nokia’s flagship, the Lumia 900, can tether, but the cheaper Lumia 710 and Lumia 800 can’t. At least that used to be the case until today. According to Nokia Power User, there’s a firmware available for the Lumia 710 and the Chinese Lumia 800 that enable tethering. Is this update the next version of Windows Phone, codenamed Tango? We haven’t figured that out yet, but it wouldn’t surprise us if it was. Just yesterday we reported that Tango would start going out by the end of this month and then end up on 90% of Windows Phones by June.
Will your operator let you tether without charging your an arm and a leg? That’s a totally different question all together. If you bought your Windows Phone from your operator, expect a world of pain. If on the other hand you bought your Windows Phone unlocked, then you can get around having to pay an extra tethering fee. Bits are bits, whether you’re using them on your phone or on your laptop, who cares?
Speaking about operators, rumor has it that Windows Phone 8 will have built-in compression technology, similar to what Opera Mini uses. If that’s the case, expect your local bit dealer to be happy that you’re not straining the network anymore.