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Google Pixel, Pixel XL Get Exclusive Instant Tethering Feature For Automatic Internet Connection

11 February 2017, 6:19 am EST By Chris Loterina Tech Times
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The newly released Instant Tethering update keeps your Google devices automatically connected to the internet. There is no word yet if the feature will also head to other Android phones.  ( Google )

Google is already rolling out the Instant Tethering feature to Google Pixel, Pixel XL and a slew of Nexus handsets. You might be interested to know that this update will allow any of these smartphones to automatically share their cellular data with supported devices that are signed in to a user's Google account.

The explanation is quite a mouthful but, in practice, the process is simple, zippy and smart.

How Instant Tethering Works

If you turn a Pixel Chromebook on and it finds that no Wi-Fi network is available, it will ask your Google smartphone, say the Pixel XL, to share its connection. If approved, the devices will pair automatically and the handset will start acting as a Wi-Fi hotspot.

That is not all. As was previously mentioned, the process is automatic so this involves devices talking to each other through Bluetooth and acting on specific requests and circumstances on their own without user input.

Let's go back to the opened Chromebook example. Once it communicates with the Pixel XL requesting a connection, the latter will evaluate its own condition before making an action.

The device will check, for instance, if it has enough battery to share data over a period of time. The connection will be denied if there is less juice left.

Automated Wi-Fi Hotspot

Android users should already recognize the tremendous convenience of the Instant Tethering feature. Up until the update's release, there is a need to turn the Wi-Fi Hotspot toggle on every time they want to share their mobile phone's data. It also has to be deactivated when it is no longer in use to avoid draining battery fast.

Now, users will now play very minimal part in the process. The devices will sort this thing out among themselves so that your involvement will probably be limited to just one tap, to confirm a Wi-Fi hotspot connection notification.

You will also no longer require a password. Even disconnection becomes automated.

"When you are done, if you don't disconnect, we will notice that you stopped using your tablet and we will disconnect the hotspot for you to save your precious battery throughout the day," a Google technician said in the Google Pixel support forum.

Launch And Android Compatibility

The Instant Tethering feature first surfaced last January. The speculation then was that Google has already unleashed it to a limited number of Pixel users. We have not heard of owners actually experiencing it first-hand so the rollout seems to be really happening around this time.

If you own a Pixel smartphone or any of the cited Nexus devices, you need to upgrade to Android 7.1.1 before you can access this new feature. There is no official word yet on how Instant Tethering is getting deployed. A previous Tech Times report, however, has stated that it is part of the Google Play Services 10.2 update.

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