Instant Tethering lets you easily share your connection with nearby Android devices

BY GreenBot Staff

Published 14 Feb 2017

The -Fi tethering feature built into your Android phone is a great feature that shares your connection with devices that might not have cellular capabilities. Now is making it a little easier to get it up running.

A new feature called Instant Tethering is currently rolling out as part of the 10.2.91 update to ay Services. First reported last month by Android lice, the feature should be live on a select few phones, namely Nexus xel hsets running Nougat 7.1.1.

ones that can share their data connection include the xel, xel X Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6 On the receiving end, the only currently supported tablets are the Nexus 9 xel C tablets running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or later. That said, the service could eventually make its way to more devices, possibly as part of Android O.

How Instant Tethering works

Omri Amarilio, an associate product manager at , explained Instant Tethering in a post on the xel User Community forum: “en you unlock a tablet such as the xel C, it will notice if there is no internet connection available, will ask your xel phone if it has internet battery life. If it does, we will give you an option to enable a secure hotspot pair automagically, without even taking your phone out of your pocket. en you are done, if you don’t disconnect, we will notice that you stopped using your tablet we will disconnect the hotspot for you to save your precious battery throughout the day.”

ere previous connection required pairing codes, passwords, several steps to get set up, the new method works similarly to the way automatic -Fi connections work today. The two devices need to be within Bluetooth range linked to the same account to start the connection, but other than that, there aren’t any toggles to flip or passwords to enter. Basically, your tablet will instantly connect to your phone’s hotspot (hence the name) whenever it needs a connection.

instant tethering

Instant Tethering lets you easily share your phone’s connection with a device that needs it, no passwords necessary.

To find the feature, head to the Settings app—just don’t look for the option under the Tethering & portable hotspot tab. Instead, scroll down to the tab under the rsonal heading tap Instant Tethering. You’ll see two toggles, one for ovide data connection another for Get data connection (they’ll both be on by default). Below the switches, there will be a list of any available devices that need to use your connection. If your xel to Nexus phone or tablet needs a connection, they will appear there, a pop-up window will ask if you want to connect. Tap Connect you’ll be on your way. 

In my testing, the feature worked flawlessly, my Internet-challenged phone connected quickly without any fuss. But be warned, as with any portable hot spot, Instant Tethering can use excessive amounts of data battery life.

The impact on you at home: ile the requirements are pretty specific at the moment, Instant Tethering could be a killer feature down the road. It also could mean that is finally serious about Android tablets. Apple introduced a similar feature in iOS 8 called Instant Hotspot designed to tighten the integration between its phones, tablets, laptops, here’s hoping Instant Tethering is a step toward creating something similar with Android.