Samsung phones won’t be getting this new Android feature — what you need to know

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and Galaxy S23 Ultra in hand showing cameras
(Image credit: Future)

Yesterday Google announced the latest Android feature drop, with 7 new features designed to help improve your everyday life in some way. But if you’re a Samsung Galaxy owner, that number drops to 6. Because it turns out you have something similar to the Instant Hotspot feature already.

Instant Hotspot is designed to make it easier for Android tablets and Chromebooks to connect to your Wi-Fi hotspot. Rather than having to type in a password to connect, as you would any other network, those devices will be able to connect instantly — no password required. 

Google hasn’t elaborated on why Instant HotSpot won’t be coming to Samsung phones. Presumably it was a Samsung decision, and I’d wager that it may have had something to do with not having two features doing more-or-less the same thing. But since nothing has been confirmed, there’s no way of telling what’s happening behind the scenes.

Instant HotSpot only works between Android phones, tablets and Chromebooks, which is kind of limiting if you only have an Android phone. Samsung’s Auto Hotspot is much the same, and only supports other Galaxy devices that you’ve signed into. So again, if you don’t have a Galaxy tablet or other Galaxy phones, the feature is more or less useless to you.

However, as Android Police notes, Samsung phones are compatible with the Phone Link feature in Windows 11 — alongside select Honor, Oppo, OnePlus, RealMe and ROG phones. That means anyone with one of these phones can take advantage of Windows 11’s instant hotspot feature. Once set up, this allows users to activate and connect to their phone’s hotspot from a Windows 11 PC.

While that’s hardly a Samsung exclusive feature, it’s still something you won’t be able to do with a Google Pixel or a Motorola Edge. Which may make up for not being able to connect your Samsung to a Chromebook in a single tap. Then again, the other compatible phones, like OnePlus and ROG phones, should be able to do both.

But if you are an existing Samsung Galaxy phone owner, it’s important to know how things are different for you. There’s no incoming Instant Hotspot feature, but you do have a version of your own. Just don’t try and connect it to your Chromebook or non-Samsung tablet — or else Auto Hotspot isn’t going to work.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.