Last year Google unveiled a powerful new feature for Nexus/Pixel users — instant tethering. Between a Google phone and Google tablet, users could easily activate the tethering feature without ever pulling out their smartphone. Now, as Android tablets continue to fall off the map, Google seems to be bringing this feature to Chrome OS.
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As first spotted by ChromeStory, the Canary channel of Chrome OS currently houses a flag to enable instant tethering on that device. Like on tablets, this feature interacts with your nearby phone to enable tethering without ever touching the phone.
Instant Tethering Chrome OS
Enables Instant Tethering. Instant Tethering allows your nearby Google phone to share its Internet connection with this device. #enable-tether
If you’re using the Canary channel of Chrome OS, this feature will be able via Chrome’s flags. You can access this by typing chrome://flags into the URL bar. From there, find the “enable-tether” option and toggle it to enabled, then restart the machine.
Once enabled, instant tethering will appear in the quick settings menu under the “network” section. Simply toggle the feature on while you’re away from Wi-Fi and it will turn on tethering from your smartphone. Of course, you’ll need to enable this feature on your phone beforehand and will need to be using a Google Pixel/XL or Nexus device running Android Nougat.
ChromeStory reports that the feature isn’t successfully working just yet, but that could be due to the device or location. Anyone with the required hardware should have the ability to at least test this out, but do keep in mind that the Canary channel of Chrome OS is very unstable so it may be best to wait until the feature graduates to more stable channels.