Microsoft has released a new Windows 11 preview build to its Dev and Beta Channels, which includes an interesting new feature for mobile hotspot connectivity.

The feature is similar to one seen on macOS and iPadOS, which allows you to turn your computer or tablet into a mobile hotspot without having to involve your iPhone.

Windows 11's Phone Link on a Dell XPS Laptop.
Dung Caovn/Unsplash

On the Apple version, you’re able to view and select the mobile hotspot feature from an auxiliary device without having to access hotspot settings from your smartphone to inputting a password, Neowin noted.

For the Windows 11 preview, this function is being added to the Phone Link app that is already included in Microsoft’s software. The only catch is that it will only be compatible with a limited number of Samsung smartphones.

Devices will also need to have various requirements to run the feature, including:

  • A Samsung smartphone with One UI 4.1.1 and newer.
  • The latest Android 12L update
  • A PC with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and Windows 11 build 22621 or newer
  • A cellular plan that supports hotspots
  • Phone Link version 1.22082.111.0 or newer
  • Link to Windows app on your Samsung device with version 1.22081.142 or newer

Microsoft’s relationship with Samsung so far might allow the brand to easily implement such features onto Galaxy smartphones. With this feature being at the Dev and Beta stage, there is no word on whether it will be made available to other Android devices.

Phone Link is an interesting feature that originally came to Windows 11 in February under the name Your Phone. It was a Samsung-exclusive feature at that time as well, as part of a partnership Microsoft had with the brand for the launch of its Galaxy S22 series. As part of that collaboration, Samsung models including the Galaxy Z Fold, Galaxy Z Flip, Galaxy S series, and Galaxy Note series were also among the devices compatible with Your Phone, now known as Phone Link.

Microsoft then opted to rebrand and redesign the feature and open its compatibility up to other Android devices beyond Samsung models. Having also introduced a new setup method, Android users are able to scan a QR code from their phones to pair the feature to their devices.

Microsoft also announced its partnership with the brand Honor and devices including the Honor Magic V, the Honor Magic 4 series, and the Honor Magic 3 would sell with Phone Link included.

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