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New ‘Instant Tethering’ feature for Android simplifies hotspot setup

Google has launched a new feature via Google Play Services 10.2 that will make it easier to use the mobile hotspot on your mobile devices.

The latest update comes with ‘Instant Tethering’, which simplifies the hotspot setup process, often a tedious task.

Instant Tethering essentially links up all the devices associated with your Google account, which means if one loses connection, you’ll immediately be asked if you want to connect to another nearby device with internet access.

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The feature uses Bluetooth to find your other nearby devices and means you’ll be prompted to reconnect to a new device if you lose connection.

As long as you’ve got a fairly generous data plan, it should make staying online when there’s no Wi-Fi around much simpler.

Instant Tethering

Unfortunately, the new feature doesn’t appear to be available to everyone at this point. According to AndroidPolice, Instant Tethering is launching for Nexus and Pixel devices running Android Nougat 7.1.1 first.

What’s more, the Nexus 9 and Pixel C are apparently only supported as clients, so they’ll be able to connect to your compatible phone, and this will work even on Marshmallow.

According to a ‘Googler’, the Pixel XL will work as the hotspot but two phones can also connect to each other with the new feature if one loses connection.

There’s also a server-side component to Instant Tethering, so you might not see it once you’ve installed the Play Services update, though restarting might make it pop up.

It’s unclear when the feature will roll out to other devices at this point, but stay tuned for the latest as we’d expect it to arrive on more than just the Nexus and Pixel devices in the future.

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