Google is rolling out a new feature in Android 7.1.1 — aka Nougat — that will make it easier to share a cellular data connection with other Android devices you own. Dubbed Instant Tethering, the feature is only available across Pixel and Nexus devices, and essentially makes it so that you can share one device's cellular connection automatically with another supported device signed into the same Google account.
There’s no need for passwords or manually setting up hotspot sharing. Google’s Omri Amarilio explains: “When you unlock a tablet such as the Pixel C, it will notice if there is no internet connection available, and will ask your Pixel phone if it has internet and battery life. If it does, we will give you an option to enable a secure hotspot and pair automagically, without even taking your phone out of your pocket.”
According to Amarilio, the feature will also detect whether you’ve stop using the linked device for over 10 minutes and shut down the Instant Tethering link to preserve battery life.
The list of supported devices includes the Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel C, and Nexus 9. In order to switch on the feature, users need to head to Settings > Google > Instant Tethering and tap on 'Provide data connection' option to make their data connection available to other supported devices.
It’s unclear if Instant Tethering will eventually roll out to devices other than Nexus and Pixel or it will stay exclusive to them. As it is now it's not a feature that'll be immediately useful to most people.
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