On Monday, Google expanded the “Instant Tethering” feature beyond Pixel-branded devices to reach to an additional 15 Chromebook models and more than 30 Android smartphone devices.
Using your phone to create a mobile hotspot for your laptop can take several steps. But a new Google feature arriving to more Chromebooks today wants to simplify the entire process with a single click.
The feature is called “Instant Tethering,” and debuted back in 2017 for certain Pixel-branded devices. But on Monday, Google expanded the technology’s reach to an additional 15 Chromebook models and more than 30 Android smartphone devices.
The feature is pretty handy whenever you need an internet connection. Typically, the tethering process first involves you going to your phone and turning on the mobile hotspot function. Then you have to go back to your laptop, and select the Wi-Fi network, and enter the appropriate password. Once you’re done, you then have to go to your phone, and switch off the hotspot function.
Google wanted to make the whole process a little easier by introducing Instant Tethering. No need to pull your handset out from your pocket. You can now activate the tethering by simply clicking on a pop-up that appears on your Chromebook’s screen.
“When your Chromebook detects that it has no Wi-Fi access point, it provides a notification that a data connection is available through your mobile device,” Google product manager Jesse Johnston wrote in the blog post.
“Instant Tethering is activated once you click the ‘Connect’ button on that notification. Additionally, Instant Tethering will automatically disconnect if it detects 10 minutes of no activity to save you power and data,” he added.
List provided by Google.
Of course, the feature will eat up the mobile data on your cellphone. So unless you have an unlimited data plan, it’s best to use it sparingly.
Eligible Chromebook owners can learn more about turning on the feature here. Unfortunately, Instant Tethering is limited to only Android devices, so no iOS. But Google said it plans on making the technology compatible with more phone models in the future.