Good news if you are running Android, as a new service called Instant Tethering is coming to Android devices. This is a new thing that is coming to Google Play Services version 10.2, although it is only on select Android devices for now.
Instant Tethering Hits Google Play Services
Instant Tethering is basically when all of your devices can be linked together to your Google account. This allows you to connect your devices, such as a tablet, to your Android smartphone, if you lose internet connection. No matter how many Android devices you have, you can connect them all together to make sure you always have internet regardless of which device drops service and loses connection. This new feature so far is limited on Android devices, so not everyone will see the update right away on Google Play Services 10.2.
The only real thing you need to do in order to get the Instant Tethering feature on your Android devices are make sure that all of your Android devices are all connected to your Google account. Google Play Services will use the Bluetooth capabilities on your Android device to allow for the Instant Tethering feature to be activated. The cool part about the Instant Tethering feature is that it will also show your battery life on the other devices. This will work if you are connecting your Android phone to your Android tablet or the other way around. Regardless of which Android devices you have hooked together, you will be able to connect them all and see the battery life of each device as well. The only thing that you need is one device that has a cellular connection.
For now, Instant Tethering is only available on the Nexus and Pixel Android devices. You need to have Android 7.1.1 in order to get this latest update. Right now the Pixel C and Nexus 9 are the only devices that support Instant Tethering, so do not freak out if you do not see this feature on your Android device yet. This seems to be rolling out in stages for now. It does appear that even if you are running Android Marshmallow on the Pixel C or Nexus 9 you will be able to get this feature. You can use your Pixel XL as a hotspot, which is really cool. This new update means that you can connect two phones together if you notice that one phone has lost a connection as well.
If you would like to see if you have Instant Tethering available on your Android device, simply go into the main system settings. From there, you want to click on the Google menu, and if your Android device is currently supported you will see Instant Tethering listed in the menu. There might be some device limitations and of course, there are limitations based on your carrier and plan too. We should see more devices getting this new feature coming up, as it appears this might be in the testing state for now. Even if you install the new Google Play Services, you might not see this new Instant Tethering feature listed. Sometimes restarting your device can then trigger services like Instant Tethering to be listed in the menu. So if you do not see it listed, you can restart your Android to see if it then shows up. If it does not, then that means your Android device is not supported yet and that it might be a little while before you see the update on your Android device.
The best thing about this Instant Tethering update is that it will help people who live in rural areas or areas where the internet connections are spotty or go out a lot. It will also help people who have bad internet service and have to deal with various outages a lot. You also have to think about how good this new Android Instant Tethering service will be for people who are on data caps with their internet service providers. Hopefully this new update is available for all people running Android Marshmallow or Nougat in the very near future. We will let you know if we hear more about this new feature or if we hear when other devices will be getting this service.