03-18-2011 01:20 PM
I have recently upgraded to Android 2.2 on my Milestone. I had seen the tethering options in the Droid manual. Every phone I have owned before could be used as a modem, so I was keen to use the feature.
Imagine my surprise when I got hold of the Milestone manual for 2.2 and the update to the software to find that the 3G hotspot is on there, but the USB version is not. WiFi uses loads of power (on both the laptop and the phone, or both if I plug the phone into the USB port). It can be unsecure when running on both the phone and laptop, plus can suffer from interference and stablity problems.
There are applications that can enable tethering in various ways, but I just wanted the native USB modem after months of waiting. Why is it not included?
03-20-2011 10:58 AM
It's missing on my german milestone as well (just upgraded to 2.2).
Since the droid has USB tethering, I guess that someone at Motorola decided to omit USB tethering because - in contrast to the droid - the milestone is able to act as WLAN hotspot, so why would one need USB tethering.
Is anyone from Motorola listening? Omitting USB tethering is one of the worst ideas one could have. The battery span of the milestone is so ridicuously short that I already considered taking a second cheap regular phone with me for phoning, because the milestone's battery is almost always empty when I need it.
And for this phone with it's extremely weak power supply they are forcing the user to use it as a WLAN hotspot? That's absolute nonsense.
Please fix it.
04-07-2011 03:39 PM
I have the same problem. Who with a right mind would remove usb tethering while leaving wifi tethering?
Perhaps they calculated that with wifi tethering the battery would drain so fast that it wouldnt work properly and people wouldnt use it anyway. Perhaps the point is that they dont want us to tether our phones at all.
04-07-2011 05:05 PM
I don't see a big battery drain while wifi tethering especially if a plug in my phone and let it charge via USB.
There is no reason for Wifi to be insecure or unstable if you set it up properly. USB tethering tends to be more problematic in support as you need drivers on your computer - and sometimes it just doesn't work. Wifi is OS agnostic and allows for multiple computers to connect.
I too prefer USB tether, but it isn't there so i use WiFi.
04-08-2011 12:04 AM
On most computers you would probably need some sort of drivers for charging also.
In either case, whether USB tethering would be a problem or not is irrelevant since we are not saying that WiFi tethering would go away, people would still have the option to use WiFi tethering if they think USB tethering is too complicated.
Besides saying that you are still seeing battery drain while the usb is connected means that the phone would be saturating the 500ma output of the USB port (meaning over 12 x 0.5 = 6W power usage). So why should I drain my laptop's battery too? Notice that the phone would be using more battery than certain netbook CPUs...
We are not asking for some strange feature here. This was something I had in my previous Motorola phones such as RAZR models (as well as other brands offer such features as default). Now Motorola is trying to sell half-baked phones where some basic features are missing and some not very useful features are added.
Other manufacturers even have manuals for this online:
Using your phone as a modem (USB tethering)
Q. What is Wi-Fi tethering?
Just the yesterday I was telling some (at leas 2 were listening) people to stay away from Motorola due to these software issues. It is just ridiculous that Motorola cant do anything right in software part... If everybody is telling these nonsense restrictions that Motorola is putting to their phones to other people, Motorola forum managers are probably soon jobless unless you somehow inform the managers on the top about these issues and make them act.
04-08-2011 02:29 AM
"Other manufacturers even have manuals for this online:"
Yeah, just to confirm for those in doubt ... my Nexus S can do both USB and wifi tethering without problems. Personally I prefer wifi tethering for ease, but there's no reason both options shouldn't be available.
01-10-2012 02:45 PM
I posted the original question, but I also found an answer.
As I connect my phone to the laptop for access to the SD card, I already have the Motorola-provided drivers installed and set up. Anyway, I discovered that if the phone's USB mode is set to "Portal and Tools", it was dead simple to set up a "Dial-up Connection" in Windows and use the phone as a USB modem. The phone appears as a COM port "Motorola USB Modem", the "number to dial" is just *99# (this makes it use the first GPRS/3G data connection APN defined in the phone).
Incidentally, this method halved the length of time it took the phone battery to recharge when connected (that shows how much the hot-spot tethering uses power) and it also gave me 20% more battery life on the laptop (the display uses more than the CPU and WiFi).