Apple just pushed out a new beta of iPhone OS 4.0 for developers to play around with. And while Apple has a tendency of putting out beta releases without changelogs, a few users have noticed an interesting new feature in iPhone OS 4.0 beta 4. It now appears to support tethering.
In other words, you should be able to configure your phone to share its 3G internet connection with a laptop or other device over a Bluetooth or USB connection. So if you’re out and about and want to use your laptop to surf the web instead of your phone, or you need to email a document that’s on your computer, you can whip out your iPhone and hook it up to your computer instead of searching around for a WiFi hot spot.
Apple has been saying for years that tethering was on its way. But this is the first indication we’ve seen that it’s almost here. What’s not yet clear is whether AT&T is ready to let Apple roll out this feature just yet — or if you’ll have to pay an extra fee to AT&T for the privilege of using your iPhone as a modem.
Gizmodo has a run down of a few other changes in iPhone OS 4.0 beta 4, including a slightly tweaked home screen, new default wallpapers, and a more responsive Maps application.