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Android scans public Wi-Fi network speeds
February 4, 2018, 10:36 pm

New update to Oreo (android 8.1), Google’s latest version of the Android operating system will now display the speed of nearby open public Wi-Fi networks to help you decide whether they are even worth the effort of connecting to. The Wi-Fi settings menu will now display one of four speed labels: Very Fast, Fast, OK, or Slow. The difference between Very Fast and Fast, according to Google, is that you can stream “very high-quality videos” on the former and “most videos” on the latter. Most coffee shop dwellers should be fine with the OK level, as that would be fine for web browsing, social media, and Spotify streaming. Private Wi-Fi networks that require passwords do not display any speed data.

Google says network administrators can also opt out of Android’s Wi-Fi Assistant showing speed info by using a ‘canary URL’. So if you thought Android 8.1 was all about cheeseburger emoji and switching on the Pixel 2’s Visual Core chip, it turns out there is still more neat stuff in there to discover, that is if and when your device gets Android 8.1 to begin with. Until then you will just have to take a chance when opting to join any public Wi-Fi networks.

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