File this one under “things I just assumed existed.”
However, not being an iPhone user, I’ve never tried it and had no idea that USB tethering of an Apple device wasn’t possible (or at least officially supported) on Chromebooks. Looks like that could soon change.
According to a recent commit:
CHROMIUM: Enable kernel support for iPhone tethering through USB
Now, I do use tethering a bit on my OnePlus 7 Pro but it is always via the mobile hotspot. It is reliable, fast and works seamlessly with my Chromebook. I do, however, understand that it is taxing on my battery.
According to some iPhone users, USB tethering is the preferred method for sharing their phone’s data. From the Chromium commit:
iPhone tethering through USB consumes less battery than wireless or Bluetooth tethering and is much safer. Based on user reports, it is also more reliable than Wifi tethering.
Hopefully, this will come as welcome news to those of you using iPhones. We’re happy to see it as it means a more fluid user experience for both ecosystems. This commit is less than a week old so I can’t say when we’ll see it land in the Stable channel. It is being enabled on the kernel level. That means, once it’s launched, it should be available across all Chrome OS devices.
Source: Chromium Repository