Latest Android update should make it easier for you to stay online

It is a truth universally acknowledged that someone with a smartphone will want internet access which is as reliable as possible, and Google just pushed out an update through Google Play Services which should help.

First spotted by Android Police, the feature is called Instant Tethering, and it simplifies the process of using your Android phone or tablet as a Wi-Fi hotspot for your other devices: the setup is almost automatic and you'll be prompted to reconnect if you lose signal.

What the feature does is keep track of all your registered Google devices, and if the hotspot on one device should go down, you'll automatically be asked if you want to connect via a different device. The bottom line is you should be able to stay online with less hassle... if you have the data plan to cope.

Coming to a Nexus or Pixel near you

The update is apparently rolling out to Nexus and Pixel devices running Android Nougat 7.1.1 first, so you might not see it on your device yet - if you open up the Settings menu and tap the Google entry, you'll see an Instant Tethering entry if it's live for you.

Google Play Services is a component inside Android that controls all your installed Google apps and settings, and Google can update it independently of Android like a normal app. It's one way the company can push out new features without having to wait for the likes of Samsung and LG to get around to catching up to the latest version of Android.

Instant Tethering should come in very handy for those who always have a hotspot or two on the go while they're traveling, but as yet there's no news on when it might expand beyond Nexus and Pixel devices.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.