May 13 AT 8:58 AM Taylor Wimberly 23 Comments

Native tethering spotted in Android 2.2 FroYo

Normal Android users could gain one of the most popular features of hacked Android phones – built-in internet tethering. TechCrunch has posted some leaked screens of Android 2.2 (FroYo) which reveal USB tethering and a portable Wi-Fi hotspot. Both options have long been available to users of custom ROMs, like CyanogenMod, but this is the first time we have seen them in the vanilla Android build.

The real question now is, will carriers allow these default tethering options to make it to their Android phones? Many carriers currently allow tethering, but there is an additional $29 charge for official support. On the other hand, users can still enable tethering on most Android phones with free apps (like PDAnet) and the carriers can’t do anything to stop it.

Tethering is against some of the carriers’ terms of service, but anyone can tether freely as long as they are not abusing their data (going over 5 GB). I guess we will find out next week which phones are getting Android 2.2 first (our money is on the Nexus One) and how the carriers plan to handle it.

Source: TechCrunch

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Anton Spaans

    I love doing photography and, if WiFi hotspot will be real, I really would like to try the combination of my phone’s WiFi Hotspot + EyeFi card + Nikon D700. :-)

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Tethering with an Eye-Fi card works great. Clark and I had it setup during CES and it saved us a ton of time to have our photos streamed right to Flickr without ever touching a PC.

  • http://Website Todd

    Froyos tethering and hotspot is the reason Sprint killed of their version of the Nexus One!

  • Piers

    I’m a bit confused. I’ve been able to tether my Desire using a USB cable since I got it a couple of weeks ago. Is this an HTC thing rather than an Android thing?

    • Duncan Leung

      Hmm cool- Is this a feature of Android 2.1?

      I actually haven’t bothered to try tinker and tether my Hero this time round (used to use tethering often on my E71).

      Either way- I doubt carriers will be liking this.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Yes HTC has allowed USB tethering on some of their Android builds. I believe that is where Cyanogen and others ported the feature for their custom ROMs.

  • Piers

    T-Mobile don’t seem bothered so far. Having said that, I like the idea of wifi tethering. Just leave my phone in my pocket and then have my laptop on my lap :)

    • Anton Spaans

      And not only for a laptop, but also for slates, like the iPad and such. No need to buy a 3G (4G?) version. No need to buy an extra 3G data plan. Just go with a WiFi version and use your phone’s data-plan instead.

  • http://Website Daniel

    Not to be a pessimist, but… what evidence do we have that this is actually a 2.2 official feature? Could be a N1 exclusive, just like the bootloader unlock screen.
    Also, I have a few issues with the dimensions of that picture: it doesn’t fit the aspect ratio of any phone we know. But could be an accidental black padding on the bottom by whoever joined the two screenshots, I guess.

    • http://Website Daniel

      Also, I’m loving the new “debug mode” icon.

      • http://Website cCorey

        Its 2 images. Side by side. It fits that way

  • mitchk

    Wow, I now really really hope 2.2 comes to the HTC Magic… but im really doubting that that rumour was true D:

    Oh well, I’ll wait a bit longer, and if there no news… guess I’ll learn to hack my phone D:

    • http://Website Daniel

      Well, a number of Hero releases worldwide are already receiving 2.1, right? The big hurdle was, supposedly, the 1.x->2.x transition, with incompatible drivers and all. Should be a lot easier to upgrade a 2.1 system to 2.2.

  • stalker

    Its really a great news for non-rooted guys and I am one of ‘em.. hurrrraaaayyy…. :D .. 7 days to go for froyo… :D

  • Choudhury

    Nice features..but I am still trying to find out what is tethering all about and how that will help expedite my transferring of photos or files? Thanks

    • http://Website Edgar

      using your phone as a modem to go online is considered tethering.

  • http://Website phoebetech

    Buh-Bye IPad 3G. What a waste!

  • roland99

    Next week

  • http://Website android developer from finland

    I have HTC G1 Dream and am currently sending this message with my MacBook Pro laptop by using bluetooth tethering. I also tried wifi-tethering but it seemed to cut the connection after a while. I am using “Wireless tethering” application from the Android Market on this phone and I have installed Cyanogenmod. Bluetooth tethering seems to work perfectly with this combination – HTC G1 + Cyanogenmod OS + Wireless tethering application from Android Market.

    • http://Website Jason

      What version of the Cyanogenmod mod are you using?

      Also, is there a step by step process you followed for a newbie like me?


  • http://Website Alan

    Here’s hoping 2.2 offers us built-in Bluetooth as well as WiFi tetherring :-)

  • taras

    This had better stay in!!!

    Can’t wait :D

  • http://Website pedro moran