Better Together has already brought amazing convenience to Chromebook users with Android phones, allowing us to keep our Chromebooks unlocked when our phones are nearby and respond to text messages straight from our Chromebooks with Android Messages for Web. The third portion of this Android-Chromebook pairing, Instant Tethering, has only really been available for the Pixelbook and Pixel phones, forcing other users to open their phones and toggle their mobile hotspots on and off whenever they need to use it with their Chromebooks. Google is about to change that.
In a blog post today, Google announced that Instant Tethering will be coming to 15 more Chromebook models and over 30 Android phones, enabling far, far more users to get connected faster and get back to work. We'd seen hints and a few reports from users of this; my own Pixelbook offered Instant Tethering from the OnePlus 6T I had paired to it weeks ago, but the official announcement cements that this is a feature rather than a compatibility fluke.
Google's announcement states that after your initial Android-Chromebook pairing, when Instant Tethering is turned on in your Chromebook's settings, your Chromebook will give you a one-click notification to turn on and connect to your phone's hotspot when it can't find any another network to connect to. The device pool for this travel-friendly feature is growing greatly today, and Google promises to bring Instant Tethering to even more in the coming months.
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