Google rolled out Instant Tethering for Android devices earlier this year, making it easy to share your phone’s internet connection with other devices without needing to enter a password.
Just enable the feature on any devices that are tied to your Google account and which support Instant Tethering, and if your tablet has no internet connection it can automatically connect to your phone… or vice versa.
At launch, the feature only worked on Android devices. But it looks like it’s coming to Chromebooks.
Chrome Story found an experimental option in the latest Chrome OS Canary build to enable Instant Tethering on a Chromebook.
You have to go enter chrome://flags/ in the location bar, then search for the Instant Tethering flag. Turn it on, reboot the laptop, and when your Android phone is nearby it can automatically share an internet connection with your Chromebook without prompting you to connect to the network or enter a password.
This option is only available in the Canary channel now, and Chrome Story notes that it doesn’t actually seem to work yet. So the feature may need further testing before it rolls out more widely.
It’s also worth noting that Google’s support page says the only devices that officially support Instant Tethering so far are recent Nexus and Pixel devices.
But that could change in the future, and I have to imagine the plan was always to offer support for Chromebooks at some point, since Instant Tethering that shares a connection between a smartphone and a laptop makes a lot more sense than the Android-to-Android tethering we’ve had up until now.