In the upcoming update, Chromebooks equipped with mobile data will be able to act as a Wi-Fi hotspot for other devices, just like today’s Android and iOS devices.
In the past few years, Chromebooks have grown to be more portable than they used to be, freed from the need for Wi-Fi, thanks to new models equipped with mobile data. Before that, the usual route to getting online on the go would include a hotspot from your phone or finding free Wi-Fi nearby.
It now appears that Google is preparing a way for you to flip text on your mobile data connection, allowing your Chromebook — with its much larger battery capacity compared to a phone — to host a Wi-Fi hotspot for other devices. The Work in Progress feature first appeared in ChromeOS code in the form of a new flag coming to chrome://flags.
Enables Chromebook to share its cellular internet connection with other devices via WiFi.
Details are minimal at the moment, with little more than a description of the science available today. However, it’s easy to imagine how a mobile hotspot would work on ChromeOS, based on how the same feature works on Android phones today.
Presumably, you’ll be able to choose the name and password for your Chromebook hotspot through the Settings app in ChromeOS, where you can also turn the hotspot on and off. If it really follows the Android example, there is also an easy way to turn on your hotspot by toggling the quick settings.
It’s not clear how much demand for Chromebooks with mobile data to be able to act as a hotspot for other devices, but given the capacity already in the hardware, there seems little reason not to. Since the work has only just begun, we likely won’t see full support for using a Chromebook as a Wi-Fi hotspot until later this year.
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