Monday, April 11, 2011

Tethering from an Android Phone to a WIFI only Android Tablet


I found a great link here that shows how to tether the Xoom over Bluetooth

Yesterday I just picked up a WIFI Xoom from AU for 65,100円 I was planning on just using my house WIFI and my phones data connection but started to run into problems right away.

Interesting note for those of you who are thinking about buying WIFI only tablets and tethering. Android is not able to connect to ADHOC wireless networks for some reason. The pocket WIFI devices use infrastructure mode so it is not a problem. The WIFI analyzer apps can see the adhoc networks but the built in WIFI application will not show them. One wonders if this is not by design ... don't be evil Google remember?

Apparently this bug is a few years old

On most phones when you are tethering it the connection is a adhoc connection since most phones do not support the wireless card to be in "Master Mode" (Same for most laptop wireless cards too). On my Xoom I could not even see the wireless tether connection from my phone.

After spending a long time trying to figure out how to share my laptop wired connection over wireless to my Xoom I found I was doomed from the start since my wireless card does not support "Master Mode"

What I ultimately ended up doing is just using bluetooth to tether my Xoom to my phone. It actually works pretty nicely I wonder if it will be any better or worse on my phones already feeble battery life.

In honeycomb once I paired my phone with the Xoom with "Wireless Tether for Root" with the Bluetooth tethering options enabled it gave me the option to tether right from the Bluetooth menu. I didn't try doing the PAN from my laptop since I don't have Bluetooth on it.

Full review to follow when I have more time to get used to the Xoom ...


  1. I tired tethering my rooted ht-03a to the store models (both the Motorola Xoom and the Optimus Pad) - to no avail using "Wireless Tether for Root" in standard mode...just started thinking about whether or not it would work via bluetooth...thanks for the report that it does. I'll try it myself today at the nearby docomo shop...

  2. I also have an ht-03a so it should work. One thing to keep in mind is that the connection will seam to disconnect periodically for some reason if I let it set for a while. Both devices say it is connected but I need to turn of and on the Bluetooth on the Xoom and then reconnect in those situations. It isn't a big deal but you should be aware of it.

    I really like the Xooms size but it is a little bit too big to carry without a bag. The LG tablet seams to be a bit more portable. I already carry my laptop bag to and from the office so I just put it in there but I leave it in the office during lunch and just use my phone. I will need to get a smaller man purse for going out and about other times.

    It is a decent size for using on the train when you actually have room to breath. Overall I think the less portability is a good trade off for the bigger screen in regards to everything else. Even though the screen is 10.1" the widescreen makes it feel smaller than my wifes iPad.

  3. I tried connecting the optimus pad to my ht-03a via bluetooth yesterday at a docomo shop...didn't work...I've noted your comments and will check the guide posted on the blog and try again...

  4. ht-tok, as you probably know, bluetooth is notoriously wonky. I always tether my notebook to my ht-03a by bluetooth alone. Back in the day when I was flashing a ROM a week, this always required repairing the devices. The way that pairing was done affected whether it worked. For example, if I went through the bluetooth system pref in OS 10 and just straight up paired the devices, it wouldn't work because the ht-03a wasn't advertising bluetooth pan at the time of pairing.

    You have to first turn on tethering by bluetooth, make the phone discoverable, and then pair.

    For all I know, this is what you did. If so, then disregard all I just said and replace it with "Hmm... that's strange. should work with honeycomb."

  5. With all of the anti tethering stuff that Docomo is doing these days it wouldn't surprise me if they disabled bluetooth tethering on the Optimus Pad. Someone else had reported that although the WIFI tethering option was available on their they couldn't get their computer to get internet from the WIFI hotspot.

    Since the Xoom is pretty much plain Android I don't think AU has modified it all from what I can see.

  6. That would be something to confirm, but I can't imagine they would disable connections to a bluetooth PAN. They might as well disable wifi.

  7. It seems to me that some Honeycomb tablets won't work and some will.

    The Xoom worked perfectly for me at the store. The Acer Aconia tab didn't work. I could pair Bluetooth, but didn't give me a tethering option.

    Droid 1, rooted 2.2.2 Froyo, Wireless Tether App in Bluetooth mode.

  8. What the hell? The title of this article is tether on tablet with ONLY WIFI. then you say you gave up and used bluetooth. Great fucking story man, thanks for nothing.

  9. use connectify app on your pc that way you can share the pc wifi as a hotspot with any device. tested on android tab

  10. There's no need for 3G when you can simply tether to your mobile and user the data that comes with your phone plan.