The curious case of internet sharing on legacy Windows Phone Mango devices

Forum user “OndraSter” from deserves a round of applause for brute-forcing his way into the internet sharing feature of Windows Phone Mango. His fine work not only proves the internet sharing feature can be enabled with carefully tuned registry keys but it also works for legacy Windows Phone Mango devices like the Samsung Omnia 7.

Although the original process seemed a little daunting, there’s a much much simpler tutorial by the Windows Phone Hacker which utilizes an updated homebrew application that has the hack built-in. I decided to bite the bullet to try it out because I actually need the internet sharing feature for my planned power outage next week.

After deploying a handful of homebrew XAPs, dialing Samsung diagnostic codes and a few long breaths during restarts, “internet sharing” finally popped up in my settings dialog. A quick flick of the “on” toggle, lo and behold, it actually works! My laptop was browsing funny memes on Reddit in seconds.

Microsoft’s official statement on internet sharing was that it’s currently only available to new Mango-era devices and would eventually roll out to some older devices with the supported WiFi chipset from Broadcom.

This hack proves at least two such devices, the Samsung Focus (US) and Samsung Omnia 7 are already capable with driver support presumably added in the Mango update(s). My heart goes out to HTC and LG users.

I did notice the battery draining much quicker and warmer just during the half-hour I was testing the tethering which might be one of the reasons why it’s not natively enabled yet. Although I can’t claim the process to be easy or safe, as someone who needs the functionality time to time, it’s great to finally see it in Windows Phone.

Update: A spokesperson for Vodafone Australia seems to have confirmed the fact that HTC have not added support for internet sharing at the driver level for at least one of their devices, the Trophy.

Kieran McIlwain says:

We would love to include the Internet Sharing feature in this update, but unfortunately as it was added at the last-minute of the Mango development cycle HTC have not been able to include it in the first release of Mango for the Trophy. I can confirm that it is planned for a future release, however we don’t have any ETA at this stage. As always we will keep you informed in our weekly Device Software Wrap Up with any new information.

26 insightful thoughts

  1. Thanks for the tip, tried it and it works on my Focus. But seriously WTF? Did it have to be this difficult? Couldn’t MSFT just follow the lead of iOS and Android and make it simple and straight forward?

    1. Thanks, added an update above. In fact, they’re suggesting it won’t be soon because HTC haven’t added support for it in the drivers yet.

  2. Not much they can do about the battery drain anyway, seeing as 3G and WiFi tend to be the biggest battery drainers on these devices, and running both at the same time is just asking for trouble. But hey, it keeps my Touchpad hooked up on the odd occasion I actually need it 😛

  3. Today I received confirmation from an HTC spokesperson that a firmware update will come around mid-october to enable the hotspot feature.

  4. Why does nobody talk about Dell venue pro? In fact I typed this comment on that because I could do it very fast. I even typed .com in just one keystroke even in portrait mode. I absolutely love it. I can keep rambling as much as I want but I think _people_ should at least mention it among others!!

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