If we weren't already excited by the prospect of a faster smartphone experience when Android 2.2 Froyo arrives, the news that the updated OS packs native tethering support would be enough to get us chomping at the bit. According to TechCrunch, Android 2.2 will deliver not only USB tethering - allowing for a wired hook-up from your phone to a netbook, notebook or other device - but WiFi hotspot functionality, basically turning your device into a MiFi-style mobile router.
We don't know right now how many WiFi devices you'll be able to associate at any one time, but if you splurged on an iPad WiFi, for instance, and are now looking enviously at those with iPad 3G models, this could be a straightforward way to address it. We're expecting carriers to have something to say about tethering, mind, which will likely come in the form of an extra fee on top of your data plan; more worrying, we don't know if they'll have the option to block the functionality so as to prevent over-stressing their 3G networks.
Android 2.2 Froyo is expected to debut at Google I/O 2010 next week, and we'll be there to bring you all the news.
[via Android Community]