Windows’ new “instant hotspot” feature will allow users to connect their PC or laptop to their cell phone’s Internet service with the click of a button. The problem is that it only works with one brand of phone.
Connecting to a virtual hotspot usually involves several steps. You need to unlock your phone, navigate to the personal hotspot menu, enable the hotspot, find it on your computer, enter the password, and then connect. With Instant Hotspot, your computer will only connect if your phone is in range. Once the initial setup is complete, you don’t have to do anything else.
Currently, the feature only works if you own a Samsung smartphone, which means around 75% of the US will miss out. The Samsung device must be running One UI 4.1.1+, and its Windows build must be 25231, which is the latest preview build. Other requirements include a computer with built-in Bluetooth and Phone Link desktop application version v1.22082.111.0 or later.
If you are not a Samsung user, do not despair. The feature is still technically in its testing phase and may end up supporting a wider range of devices. On the other hand, given the security protocols involved with this type of feature, there is a possibility that Microsoft will work closely with Samsung to implement it. Bringing the feature to other devices will likely require some level of collaboration and an OS update.
To access it and the Windows build features, you must be a member of the Windows Insider Program. The program allows users to preview and give feedback on upcoming Windows features before getting a full version.