There was a time that you’d need to slip on your hardhat (which – for a geek – translates to a pair of ugly bifocals) and get down and dirty with your phone to unlock compelling features such as installing apps onto the SD card, and tethering your phone with other devices to use as a hotspot.
Google’s appeased our desire to install applications to our SD cards already with the now-famous Issue 1151 being dubbed as a “Future Release” feature, and it looks like internet tethering will be getting the same treatment. Both WiFi and USB tethering will be supported with the WiFi implementation giving your usual host of options (setting the SSID name, security type, the password, and whatever else your heart may desire).
All of this will be baked into Android 2.2, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up just yet: I reckon certain carriers (Sprint now suddenly comes to mind, for some reason) wouldn’t appreciate that added functionality and would be quick to remove the feature from any phones they carry with Android 2.2. It’ll be interesting to see how this is handled on a case by case basis, but at least we’re one step closer to – at least for some people – not having to worry about rooting their phone for certain compelling features.