Google Launches Instant Tethering, Only Pixel And Nexus Devices Can Use It For Now

Google launched a new feature for Android devices called Instant Tethering. It basically allows for all your devices to be online at all times. The feature is embedded in the latest version of Google Play Services (version 10.2).

Image credit: Andreas Proschofsky

Instant Tethering gives Android users a way to make all of their devices to be online by enabling users to program them to automatically create a hotspot connection to a smartphone with mobile data. Great thing if you keep all of your devices connected to one Google account. Aside from linking devices to one Google account, a Bluetooth connection between the devices is required in order to establish the connection.

While acting as a mobile hotspot, the device won’t be able to connect to WiFi networks, and the battery life will be shorter.

The catch is that only Nexus and Pixel devices equipped with Android 7.1.1 can use the new feature. If you happen to own Pixel C or a Nexus 9 tablets, you’ll be limited to connect to a phone with mobile data. In other words, you can’t use the two as Wi-Fi hotspots, but they can use the feature even if still being on Android Marshmallow.

Fully supported devices (like Pixel phones) can seamlessly connect to each other’s mobile data. The only thing stopping them is the fact that some carriers could block the feature. The feature was spotted by an Austrian journalist Andreas Proschofsky who posted the screenshot of the Instant Tethering on his Google+ account.

Also see: How to Fix ‘Google Play Services Has Stopped’

If you own one of the supported devices and can’t see the new feature, try restarting your device, but since Google decided to release the feature as a limited rollout you’ll probably have to wait some time before receiving the feature. For now, the feature is limited to Pixel and Nexus devices, but Google should release Instant Tethering to more devices in the future, so make sure to occasionally check Play Services to see if Instant Tethering is enabled.