Google is set to upgrade your phone into an always-on internet hotspot with a new update that should mean your devices always stay connected.
Android Nougat users around the world are now able to take advantage of an upgrade that allows their devices to use an instant tethering feature.
This means that those of us needing on-the-go internet access should never need to worry about losing your connection – although there is still a major catch.
Never lose internet connection against with this new update Android 7.0 Nougat – Seven of the best features in Google's new operating system Sat, August 20, 2016
Android Nougat boasts a number of new features, including the ability to run two apps side-by-side, better battery life and improved encryption for personal data.
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Nougat boasts a number of new features, including the ability to run two apps side-by-side, better battery life and improved encryption for personal data
Tethering essentially turns your smartphone into a personal internet router, allowing you to share your internet data usage with other devices via a ‘hotspot’.
Google’s new feature will mean that once you’ve connected them, your devices will automatically dial in to your smartphone’s network once the hotspot is activated.
However it seems that for the moment, instant tethering is only available for a small number of devices – so many of us will miss out.
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As is typical with most new Android Nougat updates, the feature is currently only available to use on Google’s own devices.
This means the Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, as well as the older Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P handsets and the Nexus 6 tablet.
As explained in an FAQ concerning the new feature, devices running Android Nougat can act as hosts for the connections, however older devices running Marshmallow can only use the shared data connections.
In order to use instant tethering, you’ll also need to make sure that any devices you want to connect to the network share the same Google account.
Then, head to the Settings menu on your device, then head to Personal.
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Then, tap Google > Instant Tethering, and you’ll be able to select "Provide data connection" and set up a host device.
Once this is set up, follows the same steps but select "Get data connection" to set up a non-host phone or tablet.
From then on, these secondary devices should automatically connect when they detect the host device is nearby.
Google is still rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat to a number of devices
It’s worth nothing that setting up your phone as a hotspot will eat in to your device’s data allowance.
So unless you have an unlimited data plan, you may want to ensure you keep an eye on your hotspot handset, or risk ending up with a huge data bill.
Tethering can also often be a big drain on your smartphone’s battery, however Google appears to have noted this by including a feature that means your broadcasting device automatically disconnects after 10 minutes of no activity, saving huge amounts of power.
There’s no news on when the feature is going to land on non-Google devices, but with the rollout of Android Nougat continuing to a number of third-party smartphones, it probably won’t be too long.