Instant Tethering Comes to More Chromebooks, Android Handsets

Google announced today that it is bringing its Instant Tethering capabilities to 15 more Chromebooks and 30 more Android smartphones.

“Starting today, Instant Tethering is available on Chromebooks, [meaning] that you can connect to the internet via a paired Android phone’s cellular network connection, as long as tethering is enabled on your mobile data plan,” Google’s Jesse Johnston explains. “With Instant Tethering, you can pair your Android phone with your Chromebook during an initial set-up process, then accessing the internet only takes a single click.”

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Instant Tethering first showed up as an Android feature over two years ago, in January 2017. At the time, it was aimed at using a single Android device’s cellular data connection with one or more other Android devices. But the capability was extended to Chromebooks in May 2018, albeit only via a limited range of Android devices, most of the Pixel variety.

With this new update, Instant Tethering is now compatible with more Chromebooks and Android smartphones than before. And it will deliver a prompt on Chrome OS when there are no Wi-Fi connections available, giving you the option to tether with your phone. Instant Tethering will automatically disconnect if it detects 10 minutes of no activity to save you power and data, too, Google notes.

Google says it will bring Instant Tethering to even more Chromebook and phones in the coming months.

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Conversation 10 comments

  • mestiphal

    04 February, 2019 - 3:23 pm

    <p>If tethering needs to be enabled in the data plan, then all this is doing is having the extra step of turning on the hotspot feature on the phone?</p>

    • SvenJ

      04 February, 2019 - 5:36 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#401856"><em>In reply to Mestiphal:</em></a><em> </em>Well, yea, but you also don't have to take the phone out of your pocket or purse, turn it on, sign in, navigate to the control panel to turn tethering on, and then go back to the Chromebook, open settings, select the phone's hotspot and say connect. It added a level of convenience when Windows Phones did this 10 years ago. To bad it wasn't advertised and touted like this is.</blockquote><p><br></p>

    • Ty Lamb

      05 February, 2019 - 4:21 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#401856">In reply to Mestiphal:</a></em></blockquote><p>I had a pixel 2 and a crappy AT&amp;T cheap tablet. When I pick the tablet up I would get a prompt asking if I wanted to connect, I hit yes and off I went. I didn't need to get my phone out of my pocket and turn the hotspot on and then remember to go back and turn it off after I was done using it. It's great, that was really the only thing I missed when I sent the pixel 2 back.</p>

  • ph-sth

    04 February, 2019 - 6:54 pm

    <p>I miss this between Windows and Windows phones.</p>

  • dontbe evil

    05 February, 2019 - 12:50 am


    • Tony Barrett

      05 February, 2019 - 10:54 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#401946">In reply to dontbe_evil:</a></em></blockquote><p>Well, whatever you say, if people took time to look closely at a Chromebook, they'd realize it can actually do pretty much everything they need – and faster, and more secure and quicker to patch than Windows. Maybe one day, the masses will wake up and notice that most don't actually <em>need </em>Windows anymore.</p>

      • dontbe evil

        05 February, 2019 - 12:52 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#402786">In reply to ghostrider:</a></em></blockquote><p>maybe after they'll understand they don't need ios or mac os</p>

  • ebraiter

    05 February, 2019 - 1:41 pm

    <p>Chromebricks are a waste with that OS on it. Wipe the drive and put on a real Linux distro on it.</p><p>Work in a very large IT company and still don't know anyone who has one.</p>

    • Ty Lamb

      05 February, 2019 - 4:18 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#402848">In reply to ebraiter:</a></em></blockquote><p>Everyone in my sons school grades 4 and up.</p>

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