Android 2.2 Froyo gets AT&T tethering before iPhone?

Android 2.2 Froyo updates started going live yesterday for the unsubsidized, unlocked, once-upon-a-time sold directly by Google Nexus One, and it seems to include not only tethering but mobile hotspot (think MiFi, or mobile Wi-Fi router to share your 3G with multiple other devices), usable right now on AT&T -- just about the only carrier in the world that doesn't allow iPhone tethering.

Sure, AT&T is likely running tens of millions of iPhones and only a relative handful of Nexus Ones, but that's not the point. Apple introduced seamless, elegant tethering in iPhone OS 3.0 in June 2009, and while it looks like US iPhone users may finally get it in iPhone OS 4 in June 2010, that's a year after the rest of the world and now -- it's even after Android.

The iPhone is popular, we get it. AT&T's network probably couldn't handle that many people trying to use their "unlimited" plans on tethered devices, we have no doubt. The situations are completely different, we grant the point.

But it's so beyond ridiculous now that it can't -- and shouldn't -- escape mention.

(We'll also note for the record we don't know how long this will last, as AT&T may figure out a way to block it on unlocked devices and carrier-branded devices may remove it entirely or just bolt on a surcharge).

Video after the break.

YouTube link