When the Verizon iPhone finally went on sale last month, it bested its AT&T cousin by offering a wireless hot spot that could support up to five devices. It was a welcome addition and, as we found in our Verizon iPhone review, the feature performed well. It wasn't necessarily better than other smartphone hot spots we've tested, but it offered a simple and relatively speedy way to get online.
When AT&T would join the hot-spot party became the next question, of course, but Apple offered an answer Wednesday when it delivered its latest software update a couple of days early. Though as iOS upgrades go, iOS 4.3 activates the hot spot on the AT&T iPhone 4 (earlier iPhones will not support the feature). It's almost the same experience as on Verizon's device, but there are some important and disappointing differences.
What's the same As with Verizon's handset, AT&T users will need to activate the optional tethering plan to use the feature (if you don't have the plan, the option won't appear in your Settings menu). And, like Verizon, AT&T charges an additional $20 for the plan. Though AT&T's data cap is 4GB per month for tethering and the hot spot (Verizon has a 2GB cap), the carrier requires you to select at least the $25-per-month Data Pro plan for basic data. … Read more