Native Wi-FI tethering support has been a feature of Android since version 2.2 (Froyo), but it is disabled or hidden from the Settings in many devices, thanks to their manufacturers or the carriers that sell them. On certain devices, the feature automatically gets disabled if no SIM card is present in the device. There have been several solutions out there to bring this functionality back to such devices, but almost all of them require root access. If you’re unlucky enough to have this feature disabled on your Android device and don’t want to root it to get it back, Chainfire has a solution for you in Hotspot Control. Just released on Google Play Store, it is a tiny app that allows you to easily toggle Wi-Fi hotspot mode on your unrooted Android device on which the native feature is present but hidden or disabled by the device manufacturer or your carrier.
As Chainfire himself clarified in his Google+ post, the purpose of the app isn’t to bypass any restrictions that your carrier may have enforced on tethering your data connection. While it can do that for some (but not all) devices, its primary purpose remains enabling users to create a Wi-Fi hotspot on their device regardless of whether they have a data connection enabled or not, and even regardless of whether they have a SIM card inserted in the device or not. This can have purposes other than sharing your data connection as well, such as creating a private Wi-Fi network for connecting multiple devices to transfer data between them.
Using the app is super-simple – just launch it and you’ll be presented with the app’s sole screen that houses all the options you’ll need, which aren’t many in this case. Apart information and donation links, the available controls let you easily enable or disable Wi-Fi, as well as the Access Point (Wi-Fi Hotspot). You can set a network name (SSID) as well as a password of your choice, and view the current state of Wi-Fi and Access Point. The security & encryption used is WPA2 AES+TKIP, which is hard-coded to keep things simple, and you don’t have to worry about changing it.
Several users who have tried the app have reported that it successfully allowed them to enable tethering their data connection over Wi-Fi on devices that had the feature disabled or hidden by their carriers. However, this depends on the carrier as well as the device, and isn’t guaranteed to work for all users. The app is available for free on Google Play Store, so you can give it a try and see how it fares on yours.