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Old 11-29-2010, 06:33 AM   #1
Edge User
Android 2.2 phone and Wifi Hotspot infrastructure mode

I just got a new HTC Desire Z (UK unlocked version) with Android 2.2 (Froyo). In addition to the 100 other things I love about this phone, I can report that it can turn a 3G signal into a wi-fi hotspot that the eDGe can connect to.

For me, the lack of 3G on the eDGe was the biggest limitation on its usefulness on the road (which is most of my usage). This is why I bought a MiFi device, which works really well, but of course requires the purchase of a separate sim card and data plan, in addition to the one on my phone.

Ideally, of course, one would use the cell phone 3g connection and tether the eDGe to it. But there have been no reports of successful USB tethering with the eDGe, and the wi-fi signal created by the MyWi app on (jailbroken) iPhone is an "adhoc" network, which the eDGe cannot connect to.

I was therefore very excited to see that the HTC phone (and possibly any other phone with Froyo) can create a wifi signal that the eDGe can connect to. This means that I can use the internet on the eDGe wherever I get a data signal on my cell phone. Problem solved (for me anyway). It's even better than having the eDGe support 3g natively because that would have required the purchase of a second data plan, just like the MiFi solution.

As a final note - I was surprised how much I love almost everything about the new phone, since I was expecting it to be a so-so compromise between iPhone (nice apps but lacks keyboard) and Blackberry (keyboard but no touchscreen and otherwise poor interface). The slide-out keyboard on the Desire Z is fantastic, Android 2.2 is fully on par with iPhone interface, and there are plenty of nice touches that make it otherwise stand out. I know this phone is only available in the UK, but I think there are US equivalents out there.
Old 11-29-2010, 09:00 AM   #2
Edge User
I solved the double data plan dilemma by removing the data portion from my smartphone plan and applied the money saved there to the data plan on my Mifi (it was about 1:1). I really don't do email or web browsing anymore on my smartphone anyway now that I have a Pocket eDGe, but if I need wifi access on my smartphone, I just turn on my Mifi and the phone connects through that (of course, at home and where there's a hotspot my phone can use that wifi directly). It would be ideal if the eDGe could accept ad hoc network connections, but meanwhile I have a workable arrangement that costs me no more than what I paid originally for my smartphone data & voice plan.
Old 11-29-2010, 11:21 AM   #3
Edge User
The WiFi hotspot feature was native to Froyo, although several US phone companies disabled it. My TMobile MyTouch 4G has this feature and the edge can utilize it; however, there are rumors that TMobile plans to add a 14.99 plan to existing plans to allow its use. So far nothing, but who knows. A forum poster says "T-Mobile seems to be checking the http user-agent that your web browser sends with every page request to determine if it's your phone or a tethered device using the data." Not sure if thats true or even how that would work given that the edge identifies itself as an Android phone; I imagine the new Samsung Tab does too. But for now it works and does not cost extra.

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