Google Glass no longer requires pricey data tethering plans

Mack Glass

It’s probably one of the biggest downsides to owning Glass (aside from the exorbitant entry fee) and we mentioned it in our extensive review — if Google Glass ever hopes to obtain mainstream success, something needs to be done about the device’s dependency on costly tethering plans.

Because Google Glass is a companion device (as in, supplemental to your smartphone, not a replacement), the headsets needs to be tethered to your Android device in order to receive updates when outside of WiFi. ‘Course, as many of you already know, tethering plans on <insert any carrier name here> can be extremely pricey, negating any added value of owning a pair of Glass for the everyday-man or soccer mom.

We always assumed that carriers would eventually understand that wearable devices like Google Glass, Samsung Galaxy Gear, or other companion devices don’t necessarily warrant additional tethering fees, as they’re only pulling in mere kbs of extra data. These aren’t laptops or tablets, wearables are in a class all of their own.

Well, rather than wait around for carriers to get on the ball, it seems Google is taking matters into their own hands. Introduced in the latest XE9 software update for Glass was a feature not publicly broadcasted by Google in their release notes: free data tethering. Glass now works in conjunction with the recently updated MyGlass app to completely sidestep your device’s tethering option, pulling data completely through the app itself. No need to enable “Bluetooth tethering” from your device’s settings. Simply download the MyGlass app and you’re ready to go.

Of course, Google’s method of sidestepping carrier tethering rates is sure the ruffle the feathers of a few execs looking to line their pockets. We don’t imagine it’ll be very long before carriers begin blocking the app in the Play Store for use on their network.

[Nick Starr Google+]

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TAGS: Google Glass , Google Glass Explorer Edition

  • Mark2468

    Wasn’t it a condition of them buying additional spectrum that they weren’t allowed to block tethering apps?

    • AnjunaSpeak

      for Verizon it is. all others can block it all they want.

      • Paul_Werner

        Pretty sure if any carrier blocks the MyGlass app on their network it’ll blow up in their face (assuming Glass takes off). I for one wouldn’t stay with a carrier if they blocked the app just because of it sidestepping tethering.

        Being that this is not a publicly released product yet it’s doubtful that a carrier would call back to when this used to require tethering and block it on their network. I’m thinking they’ll just see it as the app that interfaces with Glass and leave it alone. It’d be stupid to block it when the general public wouldn’t have seen it as requiring tethering to begin with.

        Who knows though, I could be wrong. If i were to guess I’d say Verizon and AT&T would be the first to block if any do though

    • Ryan Stewart

      Its only for the spectrum they bought, which isnt really being used yet. So Verizon cant block on the new LTE spectrum once its live but they can still, and always, block the hell out of CDMA and other LTE spectrums. And youre always on CDMA since their voice flows over that, making the whole thing moot.

  • hemipw54

    Chris you just tipped off the carriers now. :-)

    • Chris Chavez


      • Dean Politis

        Are they giving you a cut? ;)~

  • ChristianMcC

    That rocks! Not that I worried about tethering, but this just makes it so much easier and keeps the power use down on both components!

    • leenephi


      • ChristianMcC

        You know it :-)

  • C-Law

    Google is seriously one the most down to earth companies. Meanwhile companies like Verizon are trying to end net neutrality to better control and monetize the internet, and are locking down bootloaders on phones many of us fully, outrightly own. Too bad we will never see Verizon adopt a motto like”don’t be evil”

  • rustygh

    Ah, all the share plans at Verizon come hotspots/tether included. I been sucking most my data on my hotspot to nexus 7

  • Dean Politis

    Verizon can’t block LTE hotspots because of the rules of sale of that spectrum.

  • Paul Brocklehurst

    seems like a US problem to me. Most UK networks seem to allow tethering…


    Been tethering for free on Verizon since 2009.

  • No_Nickname90

    Tmo allows the use of Mobile devices to be tethered. They don’t block them.

    So I guess you can take them off your list. LoL!!

    • sharlaenglish

      мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт…­ ­ViewMore——————————————&#46qr&#46net/kAgk

      Wasn’t it a condition of them buying additional spectrum that they weren’t allowed to block tethering apps?

  • Alexander Terry

    A few words. Apks for the win. Two, friends to get those apks, or a tablet like a nexus 7 to download then apk to the phone.