If you need Wi-Fi in a compression, you’ve traditionally had a handful of unpleasant options. Y’all could search manually for open up hot spots, attempting to connect to each until y’all discovered one with lax security, or you could mooch off a friend’s or a family unit fellow member’s data program.
Just now, so long every bit you have a Nexus phone or tablet handy, you can leave the hard work to Google. The search giant announced in August that Wi-Fi Banana, an Android feature that automatically identifies and connects to open wireless networks, would go more broadly available — it’s rolling out at present to not-Project Fi Nexus devices.
Wi-Fi Assistant isn’t a new feature, exactly. It debuted as part of Google’s Project Fi, a mobile virtual network provider that delivers cellular data, text, and calls via a patchwork of Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular towers.
Boiled down to the very basics, it works similar this: when y’all’re near a Wi-Fi hot spot that Google determines sufficiently speedy — a number which the search giant pegs at “more than a one thousand thousand” — it volition wean your device’s data off cellular and onto Wi-Fi. The transition is theoretically seamless: regardless of whether yous’re on a telephone call or texting a friend, interruption should be no more than momentary.
Better still, Wi-Fi Assistant establishes all those communications deeply. Upon successful connection to a public hot spot, it sets upwardly a virtual individual network connexion — an encrypted layer of connectivity that hides the content of your device’south data transfer from would-be snoops. A key-shaped icon and accompanying “Connected via Wi-Fi Banana” message in the notification panel indicates service has successfully been established.
The characteristic is optional, and enabling it requires a visit to your device’s settings menu. Yous’ll notice it by opening the Android Settings app, tapping “Google,” and selecting the Networking tab.
Google’south wizard of a Wi-Fi organization was previously express to Nexus devices on Project Fi, just that has changed at present. Nexus device owners in the Usa, Canada, Mexico, the U.K., and Nordic countries (Denmark, Republic of finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and associated territories) volition gain the same tech to discover and sign onto publicly available admission points in the background. Specifically, it’ll support Google-branded devices running Android Lollipop 5.1 and higher — a listing which includes smartphones like the Nexus 4, five, 6, 5x, and 6P, and tablets like the Nexus 7, 9, and 10.
Broader availability was always a part of Projection Fi’s development roadmap, Simon Arscott, Google Fi’s project director, told CNET. “Nosotros built Project Fi equally a testbed for innovative ideas,” he said. “And we saw this equally an opportunity through our Nexus product line to bring it to fifty-fifty more than users.”
The idea of course is to save data — and by extension, money — on mobile. At that place’s incentive now more than e’er: in countries like France, Spain, and the United States, the price of mobile phone buying in 2014 was well above $30 per month, on average.
Commodity originally published in August. Updated on 09-08-2016 by Julian Chokkattu: Added news of the update rolling out.
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