Android App du jour: PDAnet


It would be nice if Wifi access were everywhere, but that’s not quite the case. It’s not a big deal for me, because I can get to my email or browse the web via my phone over a 3G connection, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to connect with your computer. I knew that I’d be in a location without any Wifi access all day today, so I took a chance an plunked down about $20 for an application, PDAnet, that would allow me to tether my non-rooted MyTouch phone from T-mobile. I was skeptical that this would work well, but it does.

The browser on the MyTouch (“G2”) phone is a little sluggish, but I had always assumed it was I/O-bound. It turns out that T-mobile’s throughput is not the limiting factor and that connecting via the tethered connection gives a quite usable connect — better, in fact, than I have had at most hotels via Wifi. I was able to connect to work via the VNC, and the connection was reasonably responsive.

PDAnet is an application that runs on the host PC (in my case, an intel MacPro with OS X 10.5), and another app on the mobile device. The computer and the phone can then be connected either via USB or bluetooth. This software is available on a 15-day try-it basis, and then requires registration to unlock. There are a few flavors, including one for Palm Treo devices (where I think it must have started). The host application is downloaded from June Fabrics, and the android part of the app is downloaded from the android market.

This opens up a whole new level of connectivity. I had been thinking of buying a verizon dongle for the computer, but I’m much happier to not have to cart around another piece of hardware and, more to the point, pay another monthly fee. The only advantage the verizon dongle would now offer would be choice of provider, but I’ve found T-mobile’s coverage to be excellent.

So, five thumbs up. Posted via Android and Mac.

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