Android Instant Tethering Officially Live For Google Pixel And Nexus Phones

We first brought you news about Google's Instant Tethering feature last month, and it now looks as though it's officially rolling out to Pixel and Nexus smartphones. More specifically, Instant Tethering is available on the Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P and Nexus 6.

In order to enable the functionality, you have to be running Android 7.1.1 (or newer). So, how does Instant Tethering work? If your Pixel or Nexus smartphone has an active cellular connection, any supported device (that is logged into the same Google account) can automatically connect to the host's Wi-Fi hotspot.
Android Automatic Tethering
"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," writes Google Pixel Product Manager Omri Amarilio. "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."

Google has made this process as seamless as possible, and will keep you connected as long as your smartphone has enough battery life and as long as you are actively using the internet. Google also notes that if you are connected using Instant Tethering and remain idle for 10 minutes, you will automatically be disconnected to preserve battery life.

It appears that Instant Tethering is currently only supported on tablets, and doesn't [yet] extend to notebooks. It should be noted that Apple has supported similar functionality with the iPhone and an iPad or macOS computer using Continuity and Instant Hotspot since iOS 8.0.

Finally, be sure to check out our review of the Google Pixel XL versus the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, right here at HotHardware.