Don’t Buy This iPhone Tethering App Before It Gets Pulled From The App Store

Don’t Buy This iPhone Tethering App Before It Gets Pulled From The App Store

Don’t give this guy your money.

Seriously, don’t. Why encourage the developer of this sneaky Trojan horse of an app when it’s only going to be pulled from the App Store, whether tonight, tomorrow, or on Monday? Paying $1.99 to a developer who’s fairly obviously hiding tethering features within a app isn’t the way to advocate for a loosening of the restrictions on such features.

The app, called DiscoRecorder, was released today by developer Michael Leatherbury. The screenshots uploaded to the App store (see above) show only a black and white skeuomorphic cassette tape recorder interface and some innocuous recorded voice memos. What the app really does is completely different.

As you can see in the video below, the app is really a way to sneak a restricted activity, tethering your iPhone, past the iTunes monitors. It’s most likely why this app was released this evening, right before a weekend. While it may remain on the store for a couple of days, it will be pulled. What’s the sense in encouraging this kind of app creation when it won’t remain available, and will most likely be blocked in an future iOS update?

As consumers of Apple’s devices and operating system, we would like to be able to do with them what we will. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Apple has every right to block features and activities that it wishes to, and we have every right to complain about it, switch to Android, or jailbreak our iOS devices. But to pay someone to directly hack around the tethering restriction with a falsely advertised app is severely not cool, and doesn’t show much integrity on our part or on the part of the developer.

To keep this sort of stealth app out of the app store requires one thing only – that we refuse to purchase the app. That should send a clear message to the developer that we’re not willing to hide, sneak, and fake our way to a feature that we want clearly and legally.

  • parsigi2

    Advertising the app isn’t going to help…

  • Ilyas Hassani

    how to Hell it got approved

  • Josh Bourgeois

    Uhhh… Show me the law — any law — that forbids installing a piece of software from the Internet that unlocks a capability your phone’s hardware is clearly able to support.

  • hanhothi

    The biggest problem with Apple is they do NOT listen to their customers. Buying this app sends them the message that we DO want to be able to tether. I have some short cut icons to toggle things like BlueTooth for example. Now pulled from the app store I am very happy I downloaded them before they were pulled. Wake up Apple, listen to your users, give us what we need from iOS without having to Jailbreak, we don’t all want to download pirated apps.

  • bleck2psc

    10 steps every time you connect. waste of time and $

  • ScipioWarrior

    I’m not sure if this is sarcasm or not, but I took it like it was (and still believe it is) and immediately bought the app. Thanks for the tip! :D

  • Gary Jewula

    The biggest problem with Apple is they do NOT listen to their customers. Buying this app sends them the message that we DO want to be able to tether. Wake up Apple, listen to your users, give us what we need from iOS without having to Jailbreak, we don’t all want to download pirated apps.

    iPhone already has tethering. It has had it for years. .

  • Bob Tsui

    What is the diff between this and personal hotspot????

  • Andrew Newsome

    i didn’t even know about this app until cultofmac posted this article hahah…..the irony of telling us to avoid and and ignore it.

  • joewaylo

    What is the diff between this and personal hotspot????

    Why try to illegal tether still? Who wants to pay more to AT&T and Verizon?

  • Roland P Jefferson III

    By writing this article you have encouraged people to do the opposite of what you are asking them not to do! My first knee jerk reaction was to download this app even thought I have no need for this! CultofMac isn’t some obscure website on a dark corner of the internet. You guys get a lot of traffic and you have brought a TON of attention to the developer and his app that he otherwise would not have gotten! Lol, way to go Rob!!! :-)

  • Hugo Horta Ruivinho

    I don’t get it… i use tethering everyday and don’t need an app to do it, just my iPhone or iPad options.. am i missing something?

  • TheKnightWhoSaysNi

    I guess a lot of people are unable to detect sarcasm.

  • thegraphicmac

    The biggest problem with Apple is they do NOT listen to their customers. Buying this app sends them the message that we DO want to be able to tether.

    Perhaps you’re new to the planet. Tethering is controlled by the Carrier, not Apple. The functionality is in the phone, the carriers just don’t allow it without paying for it.

  • Lars Pallesen

    Dear American friends, please understand this: The “tethering restriction” on the iPhone that you’re talking about is neither due to any inherent technical limitation of the iPhone, nor is it Apple who wants to impose this tethering restriction on the iPhone. Why would they? It is a limitation imposed by your cellphone carriers in the US. You should turn your anger towards them, not Apple or some third party app maker trying to bypass the US carriers tethering restrictions.

    Here in Europe you can use your iPhone for tethering, no problem. It’s all about carrier policy.

  • Gaylife Birmingham

    fail of a blog post.

  • SteveAndersen

    Thanks for convincing me to give him my Money!!! :)

  • lowtolerance

    The biggest problem with Apple is they do NOT listen to their customers. Buying this app sends them the message that we DO want to be able to tether. I have some short cut icons to toggle things like BlueTooth for example. Now pulled from the app store I am very happy I downloaded them before they were pulled. Wake up Apple, listen to your users, give us what we need from iOS without having to Jailbreak, we don’t all want to download pirated apps.

    Apple is not the problem here. iOS has tethering functionality built-in. Unfortunately, carriers have insisted that Apple permit them to restrict access to this feature because they want to be able to “nickel and dime” their customers on any service they can conceive of, whether they’re actually providing it or not. Just look at FaceTime over 3G.

    And sorry, but there is zero justification for downloading pirated apps. Apple certainly isn’t forcing you to screw over developers.

  • bleck2psc

    If your statement was correct apple would not block tethering apps from the app store. Apple has enough power to over rule the cell companies.

    Dear American friends, please understand this: The “tethering restriction” on the iPhone that you’re talking about is neither due to any inherent technical limitation of the iPhone, nor is it Apple who wants to impose this tethering restriction on the iPhone. Why would they? It is a limitation imposed by your cellphone carriers in the US. You should turn your anger towards them, not Apple or some third party app maker trying to bypass the US carriers tethering restrictions.

    Here in Europe you can use your iPhone for tethering, no problem. It’s all about carrier policy.

  • philm

    OK, it all was good until I got to the last step. PearSauce doesn’t show up in my recordings. Folder is empty.

  • philm

    OK, it all was good until I got to the last step. PearSauce doesn’t show up in my recordings. Folder is empty.

  • philm

    OK, it all was good until I got to the last step. PearSauce doesn’t show up in my recordings. Folder is empty.

  • ryanshattuck

    App: downloaded.

  • sanbhask

    Rob – First of all: saying “don’t buy this app” is kind of like your mother saying “don’t do that”. Of course, I’m going to go do it!

    Given that this site is currently promoting “The Best Jailbreak Apps For The iPhone 4S” in the sidebar, the raging indignant tone at violating an Apple or carrier rule is ironic to say the least.

    It’s nice that you include the link to the YouTube video, the hint to get the app quickly (this weekend) before it’s taken down, and a shout-out to the developer by name. The only thing missing is a link to the iTunes app directly with an affiliate code so they can get a rev share.

    BTW, I’ve been waiting for this app for awhile – it’s actually a pain to build the open source SOCKS Proxy app with the iOS SDK (plus you have to be a $99 dev, and renew the ad-hoc cert every so often), so I found this implementation reasonable.

    Thank you!

  • sanbhask

    OK, it all was good until I got to the last step. PearSauce doesn’t show up in my recordings. Folder is empty.

    You need to 1) create a recording, 2) rename the recording by going to the [Recordings] menu, then click on the “music” icon to the left of the recording name, and 3) rename the recording to PearSauce269.asc

  • sanbhask

    OK, it all was good until I got to the last step. PearSauce doesn’t show up in my recordings. Folder is empty.

    You need to 1) create a recording, 2) rename the recording by going to the [Recordings] menu, then click on the “music” icon to the left of the recording name, and 3) rename the recording to PearSauce269.asc

  • Sean Kremlen

    why wouldn’t i buy it? if i want tethering on my phone and the phone software vendor arbitrarily forbids it, I have every right as a consumer to purchase an app that provides that ability. Sorry if the company controlling the phone doesn’t approve of my choice, but why should i need their approval?

  • nthnm

    Uhhh… Show me the law — any law — that forbids installing a piece of software from the Internet that unlocks a capability your phone’s hardware is clearly able to support.

    It’s not the fact that it’s illegal – it isn’t – it’s the fact that it goes against Apple’s terms by blatantly lying to get approved.

  • nthnm

    i didn’t even know about this app until cultofmac posted this article hahah…..the irony of telling us to avoid and and ignore it.

    I think the point was to get you to buy the app before it was pulled without actually telling you to…

  • bfizzzle

    Ignorant.
    No different than someone paying for mywi or tether me…which you guys advocate

  • Koban4max

    Bought and used it…and works.

  • Koban4max

    Rob, your belief of what is right or wrong is irrelevant. Thanks for promoting it. You did us proud.

  • philm
    OK, it all was good until I got to the last step. PearSauce doesn’t show up in my recordings. Folder is empty.

    You need to 1) create a recording, 2) rename the recording by going to the [Recordings] menu, then click on the “music” icon to the left of the recording name, and 3) rename the recording to PearSauce269.asc

    I tried that, using .aac, too, as you mention in the vid. It says cannot open, no application and if I click on the fan, nothing happens.

  • bananacakes

    If your statement was correct apple would not block tethering apps from the app store. Apple has enough power to over rule the cell companies.

    but they don’t have enough power to ignore a stipulation in a contract that they signed with a carrier. The carrier can sue them for breaking the terms of the contract. When a company like Sprint commits $20 billion to carry iPhones, they are going to want some revenue protections in place. I’d certainly prefer to be able to tether for free, I’m already paying for the data and I don’t think it should matter on which device I receive it, but it’s not as simple as Apple “overruling” a carrier. Specific contract language must be amended.

  • kenny23601

    Dude, you are douchebag. Base on this article, I’m assuming you are ok with AT&T charging twice for the data we already pay for.

  • dporter15

    No. Its called business partnerships. Apple can’t circumvent a written agreement with their partners, just to sell hacked apps. AT&T are the biggest carrier in the US. If Apple wants them to sell their phones on THEIR network, AT&T call the shots over what happens with their service network, not Apple. How can Apple tell them what to do with their network? Lars is 100% correct, and you sir, are an idiot. But you’re probably from the US so that would explain it.

    Actually as of now Verizon is the larger network.

  • Koban4max

    Another trick to confuse att that it’s wi-fi. Have they discovered it and fixed it?

  • Alfred2612

    Uhhh… Show me the law — any law — that forbids installing a piece of software from the Internet that unlocks a capability your phone’s hardware is clearly able to support.

    Challenge accepted :)

    The “law” is that you must obey the contract you agreed to and signed with your cell provider, which will specifically forbid tethering without paying an extra charge.

    If you do not obey the contract to which you agreed and signed, you will be in breach of it. Then, depending on the terms of the contract, they can legally apply charges to you, apply fees, stop your service, or even take you to court. That is the law.

    Hope that answers your question. :)

  • bfizzzle
    No. Its called business partnerships. Apple can’t circumvent a written agreement with their partners, just to sell hacked apps. AT&T are the biggest carrier in the US. If Apple wants them to sell their phones on THEIR network, AT&T call the shots over what happens with their service network, not Apple. How can Apple tell them what to do with their network? Lars is 100% correct, and you sir, are an idiot. But you’re probably from the US so that would explain it.

    Actually as of now Verizon is the larger network.

    do you really think ATT would risk not having the iphone on their network (their biggest selling device, almost 80% of activations) if apple would just say no we want this in OUR device etc.

    att would be foolish to do so

  • bfizzzle
    Uhhh… Show me the law — any law — that forbids installing a piece of software from the Internet that unlocks a capability your phone’s hardware is clearly able to support.

    Challenge accepted :)

    The “law” is that you must obey the contract you agreed to and signed with your cell provider, which will specifically forbid tethering without paying an extra charge.

    If you do not obey the contract to which you agreed and signed, you will be in breach of it. Then, depending on the terms of the contract, they can legally apply charges to you, apply fees, stop your service, or even take you to court. That is the law.

    Hope that answers your question. :)

    the contract just says they can cancel your contract LOL
    no legal action or fee.

  • Britt Wit

    I just bought an android because it does more and has more features than an iphone. (like tethering, backup to microSD card, back button, search button, status LED., etc., etc.) And googleNow is sooo much better that Siri too.

  • cheeseburglar

    when did getting a feature thats impeded by apples policies equal illegal?? and is that why it’s ‘severely not cool,’ because apples rules equal the law to you?? i mean i dont necessarily support the app, but i dont follow your logic as to why people should shun someone trying to shoehorn features into the device they should have natively anyway.
    why on earth should you pay twice for an internet connection you already have, on a device that supports this feature natively?? i can only see isps and apples greed on this point.

  • Tallest_Skil

    when did getting a feature thats impeded by apples policies equal illegal?? and is that why it’s ‘severely not cool,’ because apples rules equal the law to you?? i mean i dont necessarily support the app, but i dont follow your logic as to why people should shun someone trying to shoehorn features into the device they should have natively anyway.
    why on earth should you pay twice for an internet connection you already have, on a device that supports this feature natively?? i can only see isps and apples greed on this point.

    Has nothing at all to do with Apple.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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