Join Nick Brazzi for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting up Instant Hotspot, part of Up and Running with Apple Pay and iOS 8.1.
- Instant Hotspot is a feature of both iOS8 and Mac OS X Yosemite. It was feature that was initially announced for iOS8, but it was held back until the iOS8.1 update. Instant Hotspot is a feature that adds on to the existing Personal Hotspot feature. Using a Personal Hotspot on an iPhone means that you are using the iPhone to create a wi-fi network. Then you can connect your computer to that wi-fi network and access the internet, which is facilitated through the iPhone's cellular connection.
With the Instant Hotspot, you now have the option to quickly enable and connect to your iPhone's Personal Hotspot, without having to go into the settings on your iPhone or type long, complicated passwords. This requires an iCloud account. I will need both my computer and my iPhone logged in to iCloud. Now here on my computer, I'm not currently connected to the internet. But when I was connected to the internet, I set up iCloud, I logged in, and everything was set. On my iPhone, I am currently logged in to my iCloud account.
You also need to have Bluetooth enabled on both your computer and the iPhone. So here on the iPhone in settings, I can see that Bluetooth is turned on. And if I go to System Preferences on my computer, I can see that Bluetooth is also turned on here. Still, Bluetooth can be a sticking point if you have an older computer. Both your computer and your iPhone need to have the Bluetooth LE standard, which is a fairly new feature for computers and iPhones. The iPhone 5 and later will work just fine. To see if your computer has Bluetooth LE, what you'll need to do is go into the System Menu, go to About this Mac.
You want to hit System Report, and then you want to click on the category that says Bluetooth. From here, you're looking for this line: Bluetooth Low Energy Supported. And you want to make sure your computer says yes. And if it does, you've got the Bluetooth LE Standard, and you're okay with your Bluetooth settings. Now you also will need the Personal Hotspot Service enabled by your cellular phone provider. That process is the same as it's always been. On my iPhone, I do have Personal Hotspot enabled.
I do have this service, but I do not currently have the Hotspot turned on. If you do not have the Personal Hotspot service enabled, you will have to contact your cellular phone provider, and it will probably cost a little extra money. But once they enable it, you'll be able to do this. Now historically, the way you would connect to a Personal Hotspot would be to go into the Settings on your phone, to turn the Personal Hotspot on, and then you could connect to that Personal Hotspot on your computer, but you would have to type in this long password that you can see here on the screen.
But this works a lot easier in Yosemite using iCloud. Now, just to make sure everything works as it would typically work, I'm not connected to wi-fi on my computer, and I'm also going to turn off wi-fi on my phone. Now, if I click on the wi-fi menu in the menu bar on my computer, I can see that the Personal Hotspot is listed there, even though neither my phone nor my computer are connected to a network right now. They're able to see each other through Bluetooth and they remember each other from my iCloud settings.
I can initialize a Personal Hotspot just by clicking on this option here. It will turn on the Personal Hotspot on my phone, and it will connect me to the Internet on my computer. Now I'm connected to the Internet using my phone's Personal Hotspot. I can open up Safari, and I can load up any webpage that I want, and I can surf the web and do my work online with this Personal Hotspot. And of course when I'm finished, I can always quit Safari. I can go back into the wi-fi menu, and I can choose to disconnect from iPhone.
That will turn off the wireless hotspot and disconnect me. Of course, to use this new feature to automatically connect to a Personal Hotspot on your iPhone, like I said, requires iCloud and it requires Blutooth to be enabled on both devices. And if you don't have an iCloud account, you can always do this the old-fashioned way by just going into Settings on the phone, turning on the Personal Hotspot, connecting to it on the computer, and typing in that whole, long password. But you can see, with an iCloud account, using the Personal Hotspot just became a lot easier.
Note: Apple Pay works only with late-model iOS devices, including the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, and the Apple Watch.