An Android Developer and His Apps

Auto USB Tethering

Auto USB Tethering

This app monitors the phone USB port and automatically turns on USB tethering whenever the phone is connected to a computer or laptop via a USB cable. USB tethering is available since Android version 2.2 but it takes quite a few annoying taps on the phone screen to turn the feature on. Auto USB Tethering automates all these manual steps. Just connect the phone to your laptop and you are instantantly connected to the Internet from the laptop over 3G network.

This is handy if you often use your phone as a modem to provide your laptop with Internet connection for a longer period of time. WiFi tethering is suboptimal for such a use case. Since WiFi tethering drains battery very fast, you would need to put the phone on a charger one way or another (AC or USB) and USB connection is way faster and more reliable then WiFi.

Personally I run ssh/sftp server on my phone and use this USB tethering to connect to the phone and manipulate my photos there from my laptop.

USB tethering works well with all recent versions of Windows and Linux. It does not work with Mac OS without 3rd party driver.

Link to the app on Android Market

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: It doesn’t work at all.  I cannot access Internet from my laptop. Help!!

Well. This app does not implement USB tethering by itself. What it does is saving a user from the need to do those annoying taps on the phone screen everytime she plugs the phone to her laptop over USB and with the intention to get to Internet from the laptop via that cable and the phone mobile Internet (3G).  Without this app the user would have to go through the following steps

  • Plug the phone to the laptop via USB
  • Unlock the phone screen, tab Menu to get to System Settings
  • Tap on Wireless & networks
  • Tap on Tethering & portable hotspot
  • Tap on USB tethering

In other words users should be able to tether over USB without this app but it’s annoying if USB tether is used often.  With this app installed on the phone and USB cable plug would be detected and all those steps to turn on USB tether are automated.

This also means that if users cannot tether over USB even by doing those manual steps then Auto USB Tethering cannot help either.

So if you think the app does not work, please try to follow the manual steps to verify if USB Tether is supported by your phone Android verison and your laptop.

Q: It works but it takes a long time before I can connect to Internet from my laptop

The app can detects the cable plug almost instantly but it must wait a little for the USB subsystem on the phone to settle down. For most phone models a tiny delay of 3-5 seconds would be enough. However there are a small but unfortunately significant number of phone models out there which requires a longer delay. Therefore the app uses a safe delay period of 60 seconds before actually trying to turn on tethering.

If you want to set the delay to a smaller value, see next question about Premium version.

Q: What do I get by upgrading to Premium?

Premium version allows you to expriment with various delay period and find out which is the smallest delay which still works reliably with your phone/laptop.  For a vast majority of users a delay as little as 3 seconds works pretty well.

Since this app was released on the Market I start getting more and more support request emails (many have nothing to do with this app :-(. A side project which was created to solve my own problem is eating into my precious free time.

Premium version seems to be a good compromise. You pay a small amount to keep me feel obliged and motivated to keep this app updated and answering support questions.

Q: How to upgrade to Premium?

All the features are in the regular Auto USB Tethering app but the premium features are locked.  To unlock them just purchase the Auto USB Tethering Premium app on the Market. This is not really an app, just an unlocker. Once the unlocker is installed, Premium features will be accessible in the normal app.