I’ve just come back from holiday and tried a little experiment whilst away. I thought I would leave my laptop at home and instead rely on my new Asus Eeepad Transformer tablet. You can describe this as an iPad but with an “e”!
Actually it is one of the more recent tablets that runs Android 3 (Honeycomb). Unfortunately I ran into a few issues that meant I would have been much better bringing my laptop with me.
So firstly the place we stayed at did not have any Wi-Fi Internet. A bit of a pain, but I have a Nokia N8 smart phone so wasn’t totally cut off. So I thought “Ok, I’ll just use Bluetooth and tether the phone”, only the Bluetooth stack in my Asus tablet discovered the N8 but wouldn’t connect to it. In fact it didn’t seem to discover any Bluetooth profiles. Then I remember that there’s no “PAN” (Personal Area Network) profile anyway on the Nokia, so would have to use Bluetooth modem drivers, which come with Nokia PC/Ovi Suite on Windows but which I doubt are available on Android.
So with Bluetooth tethering not an option, I downloaded Joikuspot from the Nokia Ovi store. This turns your phone into a Wi-Fi router and the Asus tablet, in theory, should then be able to connect to it like any other Wi-Fi router. Except it just wouldn’t “see” it. No matter what I did, I just could not get the tablet to “see” and connect to my phone via Wi-Fi. (Note I had some problems getting Joikuspot started on the N8, basically make sure you have both Wi-Fi scanning and Bluetooth turned off so that the wireless gubbins are completely free for Joikuspot to use).
So I ended up completely reliant on my phone for Internet access, which wasn’t too bad actually. I was able to keep on top of my email (although the email client in the N8 is woefully unreliable and wouldn’t connect half of the time) and the browser and Google Maps were perfectly capable, although it would have been nice to have the luxury of the 10.1” screen on the tablet.
Now that I am back from holiday, I’ve done some research and found that the problem is that Joikuspot only runs in “Ad-hoc” mode. It does not support “Infrastructure” mode. And guess what? Yep, Android doesn’t currently support “Ad-hoc” Wi-Fi networks – that is just typical.
There’s a link here with loads of people asking for it, but not much seems to be happening…
… and here someone appears to have got it working on a Samsung Galaxy S, but only after “rooting” their device (whether a similar process can be used on the Asus Eeepad I don’t know)…