iOS 4.2 could offer iPad tethering

The recently-released developer beta of iOS 4.2 has offerd up some intriguing secrets, not the least of which is the possibility of Internet tethering on the 3G version of the iPad.

You'll notice we said possibility rather than probility because this is, after all, beta software, and the nexy iteration of the mobile OS from Apple is inteneded to consolidate the whole iDevice range.

In other words, chunks of code and interface elements could well be removed before the final release.

The source of the rumours is over at 9 to 5 Mac where a sharp-eyed reader known only as Anton spotted some intriguing additions to the GUI of the soon-to-be-released OS.

Specifically, under the Cellular Data pane of the Settings control panel, a new Internet Tethering option has mysteriously appeared.

It could just be that it will just as mysteriously disappear, but it's quite likely given the gold-rush of wannabe tablet makers waiting in the wings, all keen to fill the gaps filled by the iPad's apparent shortcomings, that the Cupertino is playing catch-up with the come-lately crowd.

We can see a lot of iPhone owners crossing the line delineated 'iPad.. to buy or not to buy' on the strength of the ability to tie the two devices to a single airtime contract, including our humble author.