Now that even the iPhone got native support for mobile hotspot tethering in iOS 4.3, this is becoming a feature rather taken for granted in today’s advanced smartphones. Android of course pioneered the addition of this feature to the OS itself, with version 2.2, also known as Froyo.
And now it looks like RIM wants in on some of that mobile hotspot action. Leaked slides surfaced by N4BB show that the next iteration of the BlackBerry OS, namely version 6.1, will get this functionality too. And, much like with its competitors, it will allow you to connect up to five devices to the hotspot. Configuration options will show up right in the Connections screen. You’ll also be able to configure the hotspot to shutdown automatically if there’s no activity for a set period of time. While the Wi-Fi hotspot is in use, you obviously won’t be able to connect your smartphone to a Wi-Fi network, and apparently Bluetooth functionality will be limited as well.
NFC support will also be baked right into BlackBerry OS 6.1, and you’ll be able to turn NFC on and off whenever you please.
And it looks like you’ll also be able to share your smartphone’s internet connection with a computer via USB tethering without needing to install a desktop application first (the way it’s been up until now).
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- Google’s Android 2.2 (Froyo) to come with USB tethering, Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities