Again we can see how Google has stepped up their game with Android 2.2, first we learned that Froyo would incorporate A2SD (Apps to SD), a nice feature that rooted Android phones have been enjoying for sometime now. Now the next version of the Android operating system will include a built-in tethering and WiFI hotspot feature. TechCrunch has discovered that Froyo will have a multitude of tethering options, that include basic USB tethering, and a WiFi hotspot option.
USB and WiFi tethering has been something that Android phones with root access have been using for a while. Especially WiFi tethering, which is very popular feature that users look for when installing a custom ROM. Seems Google has been doing their homework, and investigating why Android owners decide to root their phones. The reason is simple features like A2SD and WiFi tethering are something we all want.
This new tethering and hotspot features might be cooked into Android 2.2, but don’t expect to see it in all carrier specific updates. Carriers like Sprint already offer a hotspot option on the upcoming EVO and Verizon has also started of offer the free WiFi feature on certain phones. I’m sure we are all aware of the AT&T and iPhone tethering issue. Both AT&T and Apple have yet to fully allow iPhone owners in the U.S. to use the tethering feature.
What exactly does this all mean? There is nothing official yet from any of the major carriers, but I can almost guarantee that the tethering and hotspot feature will be quickly removed. If Verizon or AT&T do not want a feature on their phones, then it will more than likely be omitted altogether. If that happens to be the case, don’t worry as long as we have custom ROMs, we will have the ability to tether our phones regardless.
We will find out for sure what features will really be included in the upcoming Froyo release. Next week is the start of the Google I/O conference, and it’s expected that Google will officially unveil Android 2.2 there. We will have all the major announcements from I/O 2010, right here at BlogsDNA.
EDIT: Some HTC phones have a built-in tether feature on new versions of SenseUI.