Google has announced that more Chromebooks, from today, will be equipped to use Instant Tethering. This feature allows you to use your Android phone’s cellular network connection if tethering is enabled on your data plan. Instant Tethering is set up once and then can be used with a single click afterwards.
With today’s announcement, Instant Tethering goes from being available on a few devices - including Pixelbooks and Pixel Slates - to being available on 15 additional Chromebook models. Additionally, you had to pair the Chromebook to a Pixel or Nexus phone in the past, but it’s now compatible with over 30 mobile phone models.
Explaining the feature’s behavior, Google said that if no Wi-Fi is detected a notification will appear letting you know a data connection through your mobile device is available. You can connect to the network directly from the notification to save time. In order to reduce your data usage, Instant Tethering will automatically shut down if the connection isn’t used for 10 minutes.
Although Chromebooks can be used offline to manage files and edit Google Docs documents, much of its functionality is only available when you’re online; this has been a recurring criticism ever since the operating system was announced ten years ago. With Instant Tethering, it feels like a gap has been bridged by making it easier to get online when you’re away from your home Wi-Fi network.