Earlier this month, Apple launched iOS 7.1, the first major update to iOS 7 since its release. The update fixed small bugs and sped things up, added a few visual tweaks and patched up potential security holes, but the change that’s grabbing the most attention is the new policy on personal hotspotting. Soon after the installment of iOS 7.1, Apple users across the globe began complaining of an inability to tether using their phones.
As soon as users updated, many found themselves unable to create a personal hotspot like they were before. Forums were flooded with thousands of complaints and questions, and a large back and forth between owners and Apple representatives started, attempting to get to the bottom of the issue.
What has been happening turns out to be a lack of authorization from the carrier. While pinning the blame on the carrier was called into doubt at first (I mean, what with iOS 7.1 shortening your battery life, it seemed like the problem would lie with Apple), it’s now obvious that the trouble is with carriers.
If a carrier does not already support mobile hotspotting, then users will not be able to take advantage of apps that had previously made tethering possible. Ubergizmo notes that folks who switched to a carrier who does allow hotspotting had the problem solved right away. Another manifestation of this issue is carriers who do allow mobile hotspotting but do not have a contract with Apple. Users on these carriers have also been experiencing hotspot trouble. As iOS 7.1 brings all these problems to light, some carriers are now signing contracts with Apple to allow their customers to utilize the personal hotspotting feature.
The reason for this change was to crack down on individuals who were abusing the hotspotting system by using backdoor apps. Making it impossible to tether without a contract or authorizing carrier has made it impossible to cut any corners with iOS 7.1 (at least with hotpositting).