Yesterday, the Verizon iPhone was announced. Not much is different; there is a new CDMA antenna and mobile hotspot feature coined as “Personal Hotspot.” This new (currently) Verizon-specific iPhone feature mimics popular jailbreak utilities like MyWi.

Personal Hotspot will be a new, pre-installed software feature for the Verizon brand of iOS. This mobile hotspot feature has been available on most Android phones for quite some time. Some more details have surfaced about Personal Hotspot…

Personal Hotspot will be a new option in the Settings app for the Verizon iPhone. The feature will operate like the native tethering functionality already built into iOS. Boy Genius reported on Personal Hotspot directly after the Verizon announcement,

“The mobile hotspot implementation on the CDMA iPhone is, like all things Apple, pretty simple and takes little effort to get up and running. There’s a blue notification bar that appears on the top of the device’s screen that shows you how many clients are connected and a simple interface to toggle the hotspot on and off and set the password. Mobile hotspot functionality will be available on the Verizon iPhone at launch for an extra monthly fee.”

That “extra monthly fee” will be $20 for a 2GB allowance, which isn’t that great. What makes it even less appealing is that Verizon’s CDMA network makes it impossible to use the internet and make a call at the same time.

BGR has also confirmed that Personal Hotspot will be a feature on all iPhones (AT&T too) in iOS 4.3. BGR says,

“According to our source, the personal hotspot feature that debuted on the Verizon iPhone yesterday will, in fact, be making its way to all iPhones in iOS 4.3. We’re sure there will need to be carrier support for this feature, and for AT&T users it is entirely possible we might not see this right away.”

When it comes to AT&T, Personal Hotspot could be a feature that doesn’t actually have network support for quite some time. When Apple originally implemented tethering capabilities into iOS, it took AT&T over a year to actually enable the feature on their network. Who knows if Personal Hotspot will ever see the light of day on AT&T.

MyWi is a jailbreak app, developed by Intelliborn, that has been offering the functionality of Personal Hotspot for a long time. TUAW interviewed Intelliborn’s founder, Mario Ciabarra, about how he thinks the announcement of Personal Hotspot will effect MyWi,

“I think that it’s great to see Apple opening the door to using the full functionality of the phone,” he told TUAW. “As we’ve seen in the past there are a lot of limitations and restrictions that Apple imposes on application publishers.”

Ciabarra responded positively about the Verizon phone. “We don’t see it as a negative,” he told TUAW. “MyWi will continue to compete in this arena–even without seeing the specific features that are being offered on Verizon’s app. MyWi offers additional functionality like battery saving, controlling the signal strength for your tethering, seeing who is connected to phone in real time, and more, that users will continue to enjoy.”

MyWi is a much more robust (and affordable) solution to carrier-supported hotspot features like Personal Hotspot. With MyWi, you can set a channel and adjust transmit power. The app also allows you to tweak the DHCP settings and display detailed battery information, along with what users are currently using your created network.

What do you think about Personal Hotspot? Will you be paying $2o a month for it? MyWi is a one-time Cydia purchase at a rather affordable price. Is MyWi a better solution for you?

[Images via TechCrunch and Engadget]

  • soccerkrzy

    MyWi is by far the best; however, it requires a jailbroken device and I’m sure also violates the ToS of your carrier’s contract (never read it, but who cares).

    They need to fix the detailed battery information, it would be physically impossible for my phone to constantly produce the 60A it says it does. Now, 60mA I’ll believe, lol.

  • Juan

    I’ll always use MyWi. Besides, like you said, just because it’s an iOS feature, doesn’t mean AT&T will implement it right away, if ever.

    • soccerkrzy

      They will, but they’ll charge you a monthly fee to use it…

  • Bill

    This is a feature that is not worth paying extra for if it is not going to be unlimited data. If you have 5 computers connected for example, you will use up that 2GB very fast.

  • Jason masters

    I prefer mywi it’s just a better deal all around.
    And it’s better at cost control plus has more options that people with jailbroken iPhones are used to.

  • What crap is that last picture? its edited at the top where Verizon should be by the sig. bars. and i can surf the web while in calls and text all at once ith my VZW Droid Eris, so…

  • Brooks

    I have an iPhone 3G with iOS 3.0 (7A341), it is NOT jail-broken and I have Internet Tethering in my Network menu and it works just fine with my MacBook Pro 17″. And since I was grandfathered in with the Unlimited Data Plan, I don’t have to worry about ever going over some stupid 2 GB limit.

    But, if Verizon has tethering with an unlimited plan, I’m jumping ship. Ok wait! I’m already getting the iPhone with Verizon because after getting my ATT iPhone I couldn’t drop my Verizon phone since it was the better network and doesn’t drop calls left and right like stupid ATT.

  • yes, dats rite brooks.. we’ll see what’s can do with Verizon iPhone. it’ll be better or not…