Instant Tethering Comes to More Chromebooks, Android Handsets

Posted on February 4, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Chromebook, Mobile, Android, Chrome OS with 9 Comments

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.”

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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Comments (9)

9 responses to “Instant Tethering Comes to More Chromebooks, Android Handsets”

  1. mestiphal

    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?

    • SvenJ

      In reply to Mestiphal: 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.

    • Ty Lamb

      In reply to Mestiphal:

      I had a pixel 2 and a crappy AT&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.

  2. ph-sth

    I miss this between Windows and Windows phones.

  3. ebraiter

    Chromebricks are a waste with that OS on it. Wipe the drive and put on a real Linux distro on it.

    Work in a very large IT company and still don't know anyone who has one.