One of the strength of Android is that just about anyone can use it as the OS that runs their mobile devices like handhelds & tablets. Make no mistake,, Google's entry into the mobile market has changed the competitive landscape greatly.
One of the strengths Android has over the iPhone is the ability to run apps in the background. That is about to negated with the pending release of iPhone 4. Google needs reassert itself with new Android features. Candy-eyes aside, it will get old.
I suggest Google add features like native support for tethering. There are two reasons for doing this at this time.
One, it will take away some momentum that the new iPhone may get from the media and Steve Jobs' reality distortion field. It will be a feature that the iPhone cannot match domestically as AT&T has been lame enough to have such low confidence in its wireless network.
Second, fragmentation. By including tethering as a option, Google will effectively for providers and handset developers to upgrade their Android OS in timely manners. Google can and should lay the groundwork for such updates, effectively playing off the Android partners against each other. It would be to their mutual benefit as Android backers.
But more importantly, this would greatly benefit Android users. Even as I possess a G1 with tethering, it isn't the most efficiently 3G modem on the market. As a matter of fact, it is a short-term solution at best.