Nexus S 4G 2.3.5 OTA Kills Free Tethering, Flashable Version Available for Rooted Users


Sprint’s Android 2.3.5 update is rolling out to the Nexus S 4G now, much to the delight of those seeking better 4G connectivity. For those that have been enjoying free tethering with the Nexus S 4G, it’s a different story. The GRJ90 update effectively removes the ability to share your internet connection from the handset without first purchasing a mobile hotspot plan. We all knew free tethering was too good to be true, anyway.

In other news relating to the GRJ90 update, a root-friendly flashable version of Android 2.3.5 has been made available. The build by is ClockworkMod friendly, pre-rooted, deodexed, and even features busybox. The ROM is stock otherwise, meaning you will still lose tethering capabilities as mentioned above.

So how are folks enjoying Android 2.3.5, anyway?

[via AndroidCentral 1, 2]

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  1. I knew Free Tethering would be stripped from Android Eventually.

  2. Hopefully the devs will come through.

  3. I thought this was the point of getting a Nexus… the carrier does not get to delete stuff. Hopefully CM7 would turn it back on.

    1. Exactly, you gotta wonder who that was making that decision… if Google is the one compiling the code for the device, makes you think it must have been Sprint putting in a strong hand threatening to pull it from its network or something if they didn’t comply. A Nexus phone should always be pure and untouched. I knew when I first saw “Sprint Software Update” in the menus of that phone, it wasn’t pure.

      I’ll stick with my Nexus S on T-Mobile for now… I feel like I’m on the open free range right now and that the man is coming soon (ATT) and will take away my land and build a freeway on it.

      1. Run for the hills

      2. Look, the gorilla talks about phones, how cute.

    2. This is what happens when tmo is potentially up for sale

  4. We have to keep making our voice heard, tethering is not a value added service, it’s a function of the device! How would you like it if your home ISP charged you for every computer you have connected to your gateway?? The carrier’s jurisdiction ends at the modem. I would pay extra if I actually got multiple SIMs to use with multiple devices on my plan, but going out of the way to strip built in functionality doesn’t fly.

    1. What if they’re blocking it on their side of the modem?

      1. Can’t block it without blocking data. Tethering on a rooted phone is just like surfing.

        I would however strongly suggest you go in and remove the sprint proxy server…there’s a bandwidth throttle there.

    2. Root + (Barnacle or WiFi Tether) = Free Tethering for all

      Since Sprint supports rooted phones, there really is no reason not to do it.

      1. Oh for sure, but we shouldn’t HAVE to resort to such means :-)

  5. Oh, noes! But the peoples were giving Samsung the happy for handing over phones to devs. Now the hating needs to start again.

    1. This really doesn’t have anything to do with Samsung. This is Sprint’s fault.

      1. While locked bootloaders are Motorola’s fault, but not Verizon’s?

        1. Moto locks bootloaders on every carrier, not just Verizon. Sprint id blocking this to make more money, whereas the nexus s on t-mobile and at&t are still enabled.

  6. @youareme7 Nicely said

  7. As long as it doesn’t break free tethering when we get the update for the Tmobile version, I am completely fine with it. :)

  8. I don’t use tethering much, but I would like to have the option of doing so for free. It’s not like I use that much data anyway. But I’m sure free tethering will not die as long as Android is open-source.

  9. A carrier-customized Nexus product? Google, W-T-F are you letting happen to your product? Carrier specific is one thing, don’t confuse that with the fact that this is supposed to be a GOOGLE controlled device with hardware compatible with specific carriers to allow service – NOT to allow the carrier to MODIFY the code and ALTER the user’s experience.

    Straight up B.S.

    Sprint can go die in a fire. When AT&T consumes my TMO, I guess I’ll have even one less carrier to choose from.

    1. Its the same thing with the Xoom outside of the U.S of A

      1. The Xoom isn’t a Nexus device, IIRC.

        That’s the whole point of my post – Nexus device is a Google product. To be unmolested by whichever carrier the user chooses to go with.

        All the other Android devices are customized by their respective hardware manufacturers and updates are managed by those manufacturers. Not Nexus devices. Nexus devices are a “pure Google experience” product.

        1. Well the US Xoom is updated directly from Google (I know cause I own one) and is the Reference tablet for devs at Google. That seems like a Nexus device to me…even if its not named Nexus.

          However it’s a completely different story for the Xoom owners outside of the US (I’m in Canada but I switched the software on my Xoom to US to be google dependant and not Moto dependant on updates)

          1. That may be all well and true, re: Xoom; but it’s not marketed and sold to the public as a Nexus device. I’ve yet to see anything stating the Xoom as a “pure Google experience” device. The Nexus One and Nexus S, however, are marketed as such.

            It will be interesting to see how other countries handle the Nexus S … maybe this is a sign of things to come? Telus, Rogers, Fido (Rogers) & Bell are carrying the Nexus S… here’s hoping none of those carriers follow Sprint’s lead.

          2. True it’s not marketed as such…

            I own the Rogers Nexus S and use it on the Telus network. I think Canadian providers don’t plan on charging for the Tethering features found on phones…it’s a good thing since cell plans are already way pricier than anywhere else…

  10. Why are people being so cheap and greedy? Sprint allows COMPLETELY unlimited data. Do you really think they’d let you tether for free and use up hundreds of GB on a wireless network? It would be a different story if Verizon or At&t did this because they have data caps and should let you use your limited data however you want. If you keep tethering for free, Sprint will be forced to go to tiered data like At&t and Verizon.

    1. If you take something away from someone for no reason besides to make more money it is obvious that one would complain. I don’t have this device nor do I tether but I agree with those who are unhappy about it.

      1. My guess is they took it away because people were using too much data. I rather them stop free tethering than take away unlimited data.

        1. If it was unlimited, then how can you use too much of it?

  11. I haven’t ever used tethering, but I always found having that option to be a comfortable thought just in case.
    I still do not see why we need a separate plan for it….MAYBE they should add free tethering services up to 500mb as a freebie on every data connection plan, and for intensive users they can buy another plan for additional tethering…..I hate having that option closed when I wouldn’t even use it that much. Now for those few cases I need to buy a whole new plan? Ain’t gonna happen!

  12. for people that travel a lot like i do free tethering is a GODSEND, let me give you a perfect example. I have a nexus one and a macbook pro (omg an apple product!!). I travel a lot via train in the US, tethering my phone while on the train has allowed me to work uninterruptedly for the last 1.5yrs. I don’t get what carriers are thinking, we’re already PAYING for data up to a certain amount, let us use it however we choose.

  13. Why upgrade if you are losing some of the features? Not everyone care about the grading their device.

    1. The problem is this is a huge update. This fixes the poor data and signal strength issues Nexus S 4G owners have been experiencing.

  14. You folks are looking at this all wrong. This is good news. The greatest impediment to getting unlocked phones was always the carriers reluctance to put the customer in the position of being able to get around their restrictions of secondary services like hotspot and tethering. If Samsung (and presumably others) are not putting the blocks elsewhere, instead of in the Android ROM, there will be less reason for carriers to object to unlocking.

    Mind you, this means that root and ROM won’t get you past the blocks anymore. They’re likely controlling that in places that Android doesn’t touch directly, and at a low enough level that you couldn’t fake it out even if rooted.

    1. What are you even talking about? Tethering is software controlled and run. (Linux kernel IP forwarding, DHCPD, iptables NAT, AP driver)

  15. No 4g toggle widget either…I also noticed my battery life is shorter than before.

  16. I don’t get 4g in my area anyways so I’ve decided “NOT” to hit the button to allow the update. 4g speed doesn’t matter if I can’t use it, I rather keep my tethering.

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