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The updated Android 2.2 operating system allows smartphones based on Google's flagship platform to double as Wi-Fi hotspots.

Android mobiles will be able to share their 3G network connection by hooking up other Wi-Fi enabled devices, which means that everything from netbooks to the soon-to-land Apple iPad will be able to use it to get online when no other Wi-Fi hotspot is available.

HTC smartphones based on the Windows Mobile platform have offered this functionality for some time and now its Android-based offerings will be benefiting from the same feature, according to TechCrunch.

Users will be able to tether their Android-based smartphone to their PC as part of the wealth of updates being added by version 2.2 of the platform, so there is a chance that network providers will be restricting their relatively liberal data usage caps in the near future.

Google is conspicuously building up interest in Android 2.2, which is also known as Froyo. It recently showcased a sculpture made entirely of the healthy frozen yoghurt snack at its headquarters in the USA.

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