Windows Phone handset owners may want to connect their device to a computer and check for updates. The All About Windows Phone site reported an available software revision that adds the Internet sharing option to Microsoft-powered smartphones. I just now got a chance to plug in my unlocked HTC HD7 and found there was an update available. It took about 10 minutes — and likely added more than just this single feature — but I can now use my Windows Phone handset as a personal hotspot.
Bear in mind that not all phones are likely to see the update at the same time. Typically these are staged in waves, so if your handset doesn’t have an update today, I’d keep checking, or simply rely on the phone to notify you when the software becomes available.
We first heard of the hotspot feature in August, so it’s been a long time coming; especially when you realize that most other smartphone platforms have long had the ability to share their mobile broadband connection over Wi-Fi.
Using the phone as a hotspot vs. using a dedicated MiFi device is always a good debate, but ultimately comes down to a personal preference. If I’m using a phone that either has an integrated battery or one where I don’t have a spare battery, I rely on a MiFi. When I happen to have a second battery for a handset, I don’t mind using the hotspot feature, which drains the battery faster than standard use.
Now that Microsoft phones have Internet sharing, what are you looking forward to next? For me it would be true over-the-air software updates. Connecting my phone to a PC or Mac just to download and get updates feels very 2007-ish to me.