Marshmallow removes tethering and hotspot on some Nexus 7 models

Bid farewell to this Android feature on your Nexus 7.

Bid farewell to this Android feature on your Nexus 7.

Before upgrading your Nexus 7 to Android 6.0 Marshmallow, there’s something you should know: Google’s latest software update is removing the tethering and personal hotspot feature on all units without a cellular connection — and it’s not a mistake.

Nexus 7 owners began reporting this “problem” through¬†Google’s official Android Issue Tracker after noticing the feature had disappeared in Marshmallow. An initial reply from Google called it a “rare issue,” but¬†in actual fact, it was an intentional move.

“From Android M Tethering and hotspot will now only appear on devices that have sim cards,” explains another Googler. “Hence you have Tethering and hotspot option on Nexus 5 and N6 but not on N7.”

Some Nexus 7 users have voiced their disappointment with this move, pointing out that even without cellular connectivity, tethering can be useful at times. However, it appears that tethering and personal hotspot was never supposed to be available on Wi-Fi-only Nexus 7 units.

“I don’t work on the Android team, but I did a bit of digging here,” writes another poster. “It seems that this feature *wasn’t* available in the original KitKat image on the devices, but when the Lollipop OTA rolled out, it was inadvertently (presumably) made available.”

“It seems the “issue” was then fixed in the Marshmallow image that people have been receiving.”

This is bad news if you relied on this feature, because it suggests it almost certainly won’t be coming back — at least not with an official Google fix. If you really need it, then, you may want to avoid updating to Marshmallow for now.