Android 2.2 will have built-in tethering, WiFi hotspot (but will carriers allow it?)

The good news: Tech Crunch found that USB tethering and the ability to serve as a WiFi hotspot will be built into Android 2.2, aka Froyo. The bad news: Don't count on all carriers leaving this feature intact. OK, so Sprint has its $29-a-month hotspot option on the Evo 4G, and Verizon has its free hotspot option on the Palm Pre. So it's not unprecedented. As for TMo and AT&T? Nothing official yet. But those of us running custom ROMs know that it's plenty easy to tether in spite of a carrier's wishes, so we're not all worked up about anything. One way or another, it's a welcome addition to Froyo, which should be unveiled next week at Google I\O. [Tech Crunch]

Phil Nickinson
  • Whether or not a carrier allows it is insignificant. I can continue to tether without a custom ROM using PDANet. For the monthly cost of the data plan, I'll squeeze out every possible byte.
  • Yet another reason why Sprint should offer the hotspot for free. With Verizon offering it free on the Pre, and all of the options for tethering via market apps, and now the baked in functionality in 2.2, it's just becoming a given feature, so why harge for it? With Sprints typical pricing strategy, they should just embrace and accept this trend; offer it for free and advertise the hell out of it, before everybody does it and competitive advantage is lost.
  • Here's a really big question, when can we expect to see FroYo. Even if/when it's unveiled next week, it could be MONTHS before we get it on our phones absent rooting.
  • Unless they offer this for free, we will still need to root and run the Wi-Fi tether app.
  • Here's what I think this hints at: Google's iPad-linking strategy for their own tablet is to do what Apple refuses to do -- make it easy to tether your tablet to your phone. Then you are only paying for a single data plan. And there was much rejoicing.
  • Would this mean having a AT&T N1 I would get the update with or without AT&T approval since it's an unlocked phone?
  • Where's Google Wireless??? That's all we need now, a Google-run carrier! Then there won't be any problems!
  • PC World says that Android is 2nd in line for the 2.2 update! (after the nexus one)
  • Does this mean nexus one will remain untouched?
  • its gonna be like gps was. i hope soon everything that SHOULD and COULD easily be free will be.