For those times when you’re not near a Wi-Fi network, being able to tether to your phone’s data connection can be very useful indeed – provided your phone’s OS, your data plan, and your network provider are all set up to provide tethering of course.
The latest Canary (developer) build of has added an “instant tethering” option that makes it easier to get online this way: once you’ve enabled the feature on the flags page (look for “enable-tether”), it appears as an option on the main settings page.
It’s the same feature we saw come to selected Android devices , and it works the same way – if you have a Chromebook and a phone signed into the same Google account, the Chromebook automatically picks up on the phone’s data connection when Wi-Fi isn’t available. You don’t even need to take the phone out of your pocket.
Under the tether
Another added bonus of is that the Wi-Fi hotspot being run from your phone automatically starts up and shuts down as needed, so it’s not running all the time and wasting battery life while your Chromebook is switched off.
While it might not change your tethering life, it should make for a more seamless browsing experience when you’re using your Chromebook away from home. Note though that the feature can only be used with a or Nexus device running Android Nougat, which will also need to have instant tethering enabled (under Google in Settings).
If you don’t want to play around with the Canary build of Chrome OS then you’ll have to wait for it to trickle down to the regular version of the operating system, which shouldn’t take too long.