Samsung’s Auto Hot-Spot Feature

I own a Samsung Galaxy S9 smart-phone, and have discovered that, in its tethering settings, there is a new setting, which is named “Auto Hotspot”. What this setting aims to do if activated is, on other Samsung devices, which normally only have WiFi, when the user is roaming along with his phone, there should appear an additional access point for them to connect to. The following screen-shots show, where this can be enabled on the phone





I believe that this explains a fact which I’ve already commented on elsewhere, which is, that when I try to set up Google Instant Tethering, the negotiation between my ‘Asus Flip C213 Chromebook’ and this phone, no longer adds Instant Tethering to the list of features which are enabled. My Samsung S9 phone will now only unlock the Chromebook. What I am guessing is that, because the feature I’m showing in this posting is a Samsung feature, with which Samsung wants to compete with the other companies, Samsung probably removed to offer Instant Tethering from their phone.

Obviously, this is only a feature which I will now be able to use, between my S9 phone, and my Samsung Galaxy TAB S6 tablet.



The reader may ask what the advantages of this feature might be, over ‘regular WiFi tethering’, or ‘a WiFi hotspot’. The advantage could be, that even though it remains an option compatible with all clients, to have the phone constantly offer a WiFi hot-spot could drain the battery more. Supposedly, if Samsung’s Auto Hotspot is being used, it can be kept enabled on the phone, yet not drain the battery overly, as long as client devices do not connect. The decision could then be made directly from the client device, whether to connect or not… This is similar, to what Google’s system offers.

Also, the Samsung phones with Android 10 have as feature, that their ‘regular hotspots’ will time out, say after 20 minutes of inactivity, again, to save battery drain. Yet, if the user is carrying a tablet with him that has been configured to connect to the mobile hotspot Automatically, the phone which is serving out this hotspot will never detect inactivity.


Further, I’ve been able to confirm that, as long as I have Auto Hotspot turned on on my phone, indeed it does not show up as an available WiFi connection, on devices that are not joined to my Samsung account. This is as expected. But it also adds hope that, as long as I don’t connect to the phone’s Auto Hotspot from another device, the battery drain due to my leaving this feature enabled on my phone constantly, may not be very high. I will comment by the end of this day, after having left my phone with its own WiFi Off, which means that my phone will be using its Mobile Data, but, not connecting my Samsung TAB S6, whether doing this seems to incur any unusually high amount of battery drain, on the phone…



(The view from my Galaxy TAB S6: )





(Update: )

What some readers may be asking themselves could be, ‘Why not just add an existing Samsung account to the Chromebook?’ After all, It would be playing within the rules, to add a Samsung account to any Android device. But alas, there is a purely technological reason, why trying to do so from a Chromebook either won’t work, or won’t work within the rules.

Under ChromeOS, Android is just a subsystem. Android doesn’t manage a Chromebook’s WiFi or anything else, other than the Android subsystem itself. In fact, ChromeOS even has an internal router, on which Android has a different IP address, from the IP address that the Chromebook has at any time. Therefore, while it might still be possible to add a Samsung account, to the Android subsystem within ChromeOS, doing so should not really give Internet access, to ChromeOS.

The thought has occurred to me, however, just to give my old ‘Google Pixel C’ (tablet) a Samsung account, hoping to use Samsung’s Auto Hotspot from my Pixel C, since that one is in fact an Android (8) device. But, whether the old Pixel C is actually worth doing so, is not definite to my mind. Additionally, I do not know what the minimum system requirements are, on the client device (for the Auto Hotspot to display, that is being served out by the phone). I do know that the phone which is serving out the Auto Hotspot, needs to have Android 10 (Q) running on it.

And to close that topic, when I go into the Accounts page within the Pixel C’s Settings, a ‘Samsung Account’ is just not a type of account which it offers to Add…



(Update 12/20/2020, 18h25: )

I got up before 6h00 this morning, and as I’m writing this, my battery level is down to 35%. This means that today, I spent slightly more juice than I would on any day all-on-mobile-data. But, I cannot really tell whether this is due to the Auto Hotspot feature remaining enabled, or whether it’s just due to my playing with the phone more.

I think I can keep the feature enabled.



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