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I own an iPhone 4 and I am planning to buy an iPad. I am wondering whether I'll be able to use the tether feature in the iPhone to access the internet from the iPad over Bluetooth. If this works, I won't need to get a 3G-enabled iPad; if it doesn't, I'll need a 3G iPad. Any ideas? Thanks.

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migrated from Mar 2 '11 at 23:24

This question came from our site for computer enthusiasts and power users.

@Dori: Thanks for retagging my question, but I don't think this is about iOS 4.3 specifically. My iPhone is not running iOS 4.3, and the iPad that I am planning to buy might not run iOS 4.3 if I decide to get a second-hand original iPad. – CesarGon Mar 3 '11 at 20:45
up vote 5 down vote accepted

iOS 4.3, available for free download on March 11, 2011, includes the Personal Hotspot feature introduced with the Verizon iPhone 4. You can get Internet access via 3G on the iPhone, then use your iPad via a WiFi connection to the phone to share the phone's Internet connection. It doesn't use Bluetooth, but it effectively works as well (better, in fact, since Personal Hotspot supports multiple connected devices and WiFi is faster than Bluetooth).

Here is a story from Macworld that discusses how the Personal Hotspot feature works. It's pitched to the feature on the Verizon iPhone, but it should apply to the GSM iPhone 4's running iOS 4.3 as well.

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Thanks, but I imagine that Verizon is specific to the USA only. I am not in the USA so that doesn't apply to me. Can't I use the usual tethering via Bluetooth that I have been using with my laptop? – CesarGon Mar 3 '11 at 20:41
@cesargon The 4.3 iOS software, when available, will be rolled out worldwide, so it should work with your local phone provider. That provider will have its own policies on charging (or not) for the Personal Hotspot feature. Tethering via Bluetooth will still work. – Negrino Mar 3 '11 at 20:50
Thank you for the clarification. I read theh article that you mention but I am still not sure if I need to be in a WiFi area to use the Personal Hotspot feature, or the iPhone will act as a WiFi access point for me. – CesarGon Mar 5 '11 at 19:33
@Cesar the iphone will act as a wifi access point. – cregox Mar 14 '11 at 7:40
@Cawas: Thanks. I have upgraded to 4.3 now and I can see how it works. – CesarGon Mar 14 '11 at 9:27

iOS doesn't support getting internet via tethering, so it won't work via Bluetooth. But iOS 4.3 brings WiFi hotspot to iPhone 4 so you can use that to get internet to the iPad.

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Well, I have been using my iPhone (definitely running iOS) to get to the Internet from my laptop va tethering. What do you mean by "iOS doesn't support getting internet via tethering"? Of course it does! – CesarGon Mar 3 '11 at 20:43
@CesarGon I think Mr Alpha was referring to your iPad - it doesn't have the ability to access the internet via bluetooth. However, as others have said, the iOS 4.3 update will update the tethering feature on your iPhone 4 to enable wifi tethering, which your iPad can use. – Kyle Cronin Mar 3 '11 at 20:53
@Kyle Cronin: Oh, I see. If you rewrite your comment as an answer, I will accept it. :-) – CesarGon Mar 4 '11 at 15:24
@CesarGon You can just accept Negrino's answer, it says the same thing. – Kyle Cronin Mar 4 '11 at 18:25
@Kyle Cronin: OK, thanks. – CesarGon Mar 5 '11 at 19:30

a note: This wifi hotspot will cost you more money through AT&T, as I understand it.

If I am correct, and you currently have an unlimited data plan grandfathered in from an original iphone plan, that change will change your data plan too! Be careful what you do and call and/or talk to an AT&T rep in person to confirm/negotiate what you want!!!

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You seem to be assuming that I am in the USA, which I am not. AT&T / Verizon is meaningless to me. :-) – CesarGon Mar 3 '11 at 20:42

I too have no internet via bluetooth when Iphone4 (4.2.2 and 4.3) is tethered to Macbook . This appears to be broken in OSX 10.6.6 and 10.6.7. 10.6.5 was fine. Wifi tethering with 4.3 works from Macbook. However for Vista (Sony) and XP (Acer mini) I get wifi tethering but no internet connection.

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I am asking about tethering an iPad to an iPhone. I am not iterested in OSX or Windows. – CesarGon Apr 1 '11 at 13:57

Bluetooth tethering is available via "MyWi" for iPhone/iPad (Requires jailbreak on both devices) Though it works great.

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