It’s fairly common these days to use your phone as a internet hotspot for your tablet. While it’s not super inconvenient to set up, automating the steps involved would certainly be a nice-to-have. Now, with Android 7.1.1 and a recent Google handset, you’ll never have to worry about tethering again (well, almost never).
As Google Omri Amarilio explains on the company’s official product forums, the new “Instant Tethering” feature introduced in 7.1.1 takes all the work out of configuring, connection and disconnecting your hotspot and devices:
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.
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.
In terms of supported gadgets and platforms, Google also has that information available:
Phones that can automatically share their data connections (“host”)
Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, and Nexus 6P running Android 7.1.1 and up
Phones & tablets that can automatically use shared data connections
Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel C, and Nexus 9 running Android 6.0 and up
Even if you’re tight with your battery usage, once your host gadget is plugged into the wall, you’ve basically got a ghetto router. And that ain’t half-bad.