The on-again, off-again saga of NetShare, an iPhone tethering application, continued over the weekend as Apple briefly returned the program to the App Store on Friday, but then yanked it from the mart a second time.
The NetShare application, which lets iPhone owners share the phone's EDGE or 3G cellular Internet connection with a notebook computer, reappeared Friday for several hours on Apple's App Store after being pulled Thursday. By approximately 10 p.m. PDT Friday, however, NetShare again went missing.
As of 3 p.m. Sunday, NetShare remained unavailable.
Developer Nullriver had no idea why its software had been reposted to the App Store on Friday, or why it had been removed later in the day. "NetShare is now back up and available from the App Store!" the company said midday Friday in an update to a statement posted to its Web site. Hours later, it updated the online statement. "Apple has taken it down again, with no explanation yet again," Nullriver said early Saturday.
Some users, including blogger Seth Weintraub, were able to snatch a copy of NetShare during the hours it was available on Friday.
Neither Apple or Nullriver has responded to requests for comment made early Friday, after NetShare's first disappearance from the App Store.
AT&T, Apple's exclusive network partner in the United States, does not officially allow users to tether a notebook to their iPhones, although it offers the service for $15 extra per month to owners of a wide range of handsets sold by LG, Motorola, Nokia, Research In Motion, Samsung, and others.
The terms for the plans offered by AT&T for the iPhone, for example, include language that forbids users from tethering: "Furthermore, plans (unless specifically designated for tethering usage) cannot be used for any applications that tether the device (through use of, including without limitation, connection kits, other phone/PDA-to-computer accessories, Bluetooth or any other wireless technology) to Personal Computers (including without limitation, laptops), or other equipment for any purpose."