If you have a Pixel or Nexus phone and a Chromebook, Instant Tethering offers a smart and easy way to connect the devices and use your phone’s data connection if you don’t have Wi-Fi.
However, Instant Tethering was a longtime exclusive to Nexus and Pixel devices, until now.
According to a report from Android Police, two tipsters were able to connect their OnePlus and Samsung devices using Instant Tethering.
The first, named Wouter, said he received a notification on his OnePlus 6 informing him of a successful connection to his Chromebook. The Chromebook was running beta version 71.0.3578.94.
The other tipster, Keith Myers, was able to manually enable the feature and Instant Tether to his Galaxy Note 9.
According to Myers, he had to enable a Chrome flag — chrome://flags/#instant-tethering — on the Chrome OS Dev channel version 73.0.3669.0. Once activated, Myers was able to add his Note 9 through the ‘Connected devices’ setting on his Chromebook. Finally, Myers had to accept the prompt to turn on Instant Tethering when he disconnected from Wi-Fi.
However, the feature doesn’t appear to work for everyone, even on Dev channel version 73. It’s possible Instant Tethering is rolling out through a server-side update, or there could be another requirement that we don’t yet know about.
Google says on its support page that you need Chrome OS 70 and higher, Android 7.1 and up, and the same Google account on both devices. Further, Google says your mobile data plan must support tethering.
The support page still notes the use of a Pixel phone and at the time of writing doesn’t say you can use other phones.