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Old January 20th, 2014, 10:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default W-Fi problem with S4

Fairly new Android user here, and I just noticed my first problem. It seems the developers assumed that all wi-fi connections are to be used for the internet. But what about when I want to connect to a device with no internet involved? Well, my phone disables the connection and refuses to connect!

A little background: I currently sell beds for a living (hate this job, but I digress). One of the bed lines I sell is Tempurpedic, and some of their beds have wi-fi connectivity for controlling the bed (e.g., raising & lowering, switching the massage on & off, etc). Basically what this means is that I can't demonstrate to customers the wifi feature of any wifi-enabled adjustable beds. I've fiddled around with the options, and nothing seems to overcome this annoying requirement for an internet connection.

With my old iPhone, this feature worked perfectly since it's wifi connections weren't hinged on seeing an internet connection. It sure would be nice if there were an OS update to fix this! Unless there's some kind of workaround that I've yet to discover?

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Old January 20th, 2014, 10:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squidbilly View Post
Fairly new Android user here, and I just noticed my first problem. It seems the developers assumed that all wi-fi connections are to be used for the internet. But what about when I want to connect to a device with no internet involved? Well, my phone disables the connection and refuses to connect!

A little background: I currently sell beds for a living (hate this job, but I digress). One of the bed lines I sell is Tempurpedic, and some of their beds have wi-fi connectivity for controlling the bed (e.g., raising & lowering, switching the massage on & off, etc). Basically what this means is that I can't demonstrate to customers the wifi feature of any adjustable beds with wifi connecticity. I've fiddled around with the options, and nothing seems to overcome this annoying requirement for an internet connection.

With my old iPhone, this feature worked perfectly since it's wifi connections weren't hinged on seeing an internet connection. It sure would be nice if there were an OS update to fix this! Unless there's some kind of workaround that I've yet to discover?
Go to your device settings;
select wifi;
From there you'll see a list of wifi access points. Hit your menu/settings button and select advanced;
There should be a checkbox for "avoid poor connections." Uncheck it. This is the feature that automatically disconnects you if there is no or limited internet access.
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Old January 20th, 2014, 10:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Nope, no such "avoid poor connections" feature under the advanced menu. Perhaps other versions of the Galaxy S4 has different menu options? I have this feeling I may be SOL until there's a software update, if there is one to resolve this particular issue.
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Old January 20th, 2014, 10:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Welcome to Android Forums.

I moved this thread from Android Lounge to the forum dedicated to your phone (for the very reason you already identified).

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Old January 20th, 2014, 04:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Are you sure you're looking for WiFi for your purposes and not Bluetooth?
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Old January 20th, 2014, 05:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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So long as both your phone and the bed are connected to the same Wi-Fi router, in this case the store's Wi-Fi, and you have the Tempur-Ergo Smart Control from the Play Store on your phone, there shouldn't be problem.
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Old January 20th, 2014, 06:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canesfan View Post
Are you sure you're looking for WiFi for your purposes and not Bluetooth?
Yes, I'm positive. I have a bachelor's in IT, so I hope I know the difference between wifi and bluetooth!

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Originally Posted by ironass View Post
So long as both your phone and the bed are connected to the same Wi-Fi router, in this case the store's Wi-Fi, and you have the Tempur-Ergo Smart Control from the Play Store on your phone, there shouldn't be problem.
This isn't the store's wifi, it's the bed's own built-in wifi. This network isn't for internet use, it's designed solely to communicate with other beds within a household (a network of beds sounds weird, and it is).

I know what the problem is now - my phone doesn't have an option to use internetless wifi. I can't write my own fix to this because I'm horrible at programming, all I know is networking. So until the gurus at Google come up with a fix for this, I'll just have to ask customers to download the app themselves; unless they have a Galaxy, in which case, don't bother.
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Old January 20th, 2014, 09:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squidbilly View Post

This isn't the store's wifi, it's the bed's own built-in wifi. This network isn't for internet use, it's designed solely to communicate with other beds within a household (a network of beds sounds weird, and it is).

I know what the problem is now - my phone doesn't have an option to use internetless wifi. I can't write my own fix to this because I'm horrible at programming, all I know is networking. So until the gurus at Google come up with a fix for this, I'll just have to ask customers to download the app themselves; unless they have a Galaxy, in which case, don't bother.
You're incorrect. That's not the problem.

What you're trying to do:
Connect phone to bed via wifi to control it. That's not how wifi works. That's how Bluetooth and WiDi work.

What you're supposed to do:
As pointed out by Ironass, both the phone and the bed must be connected to the same wireless access point, and then the third party app can be used. You CANNOT directly control a device via a direct wifi connection unless both devices are certified for WiDi and have a control mechanism for that.

Follow what Ironass said, and get a router in there for demo purposes.

Edit: And your phone works fine with "internetless" wifi. Your bed isn't a router. It can't run a network.
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Old January 21st, 2014, 06:01 AM   #9 (permalink)
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But the OP says it worked fine with his old iPhone so it _can_ work without a separate router. The implication is that the bed does host a network (and the complaints about the app having to switch WiFi access points when you have two beds would kinda back that up).

I'm pretty sure I've connected my S4 to non-internet-connected WiFi networks, though, so the OPs assertion is either wrong or he has a different model of phone/version of software to me. Does the network connect at all ? If not then I can't see how the phone could know the network has no route to the internet.

Often when you connect to hotel/pub WiFi you get connected but actually have to go through a pay-wall to get internet access, in the first instance that network ISN'T connected to the internet so I'm fairly sure the assertion is wrong.

What happens when you connect squidbilly?
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Old January 21st, 2014, 10:18 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Just a suggestion ... instead of "avoid poor connections" try unchecking "Auto Network Switch." That keeps my phone attached to the WiFi network at the office, even though the internet drops frequently. If I have "Auto Network Switch" checked, I get messages all day long telling me the WiFi has been turned off because of poor internet connectivity.
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Old January 21st, 2014, 03:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigRedGonzo View Post
Just a suggestion ... instead of "avoid poor connections" try unchecking "Auto Network Switch." That keeps my phone attached to the WiFi network at the office, even though the internet drops frequently. If I have "Auto Network Switch" checked, I get messages all day long telling me the WiFi has been turned off because of poor internet connectivity.
We have a winner! This solved my problem. I knew the fix to this resided on the software side of things; clearly I was wrong about the specific problem, but software nonetheless. Thank you!

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Originally Posted by Medion View Post
You're incorrect. That's not the problem.

What you're trying to do:
Connect phone to bed via wifi to control it. That's not how wifi works. That's how Bluetooth and WiDi work.

What you're supposed to do:
As pointed out by Ironass, both the phone and the bed must be connected to the same wireless access point, and then the third party app can be used. You CANNOT directly control a device via a direct wifi connection unless both devices are certified for WiDi and have a control mechanism for that.

Follow what Ironass said, and get a router in there for demo purposes.



Edit: And your phone works fine with "internetless" wifi. Your bed isn't a router. It can't run a network.
I appreciate your efforts in making hardware suggestions to what can be fixed on the software side, but your suggestions are impossible because:
  1. These beds have no physical provisions to hook up any wireless equipment, much less a router. The only physical connection is for a cable to connect directly to another bed, e.g., two twin XL beds side by side to make a dual king bed.
  2. Even if #1 were false, your suggestion would still impossible because my manager will not factor into the store budget, a router for beds that already have wireless connectivity to smartphones. Besides, I didn't need a router when I had an iPhone, so why buy a router just because a saleman changed phones?
As for the networking side of this, I was partially mistaken. These beds can't control other beds, but they can be controlled simultaneously from one phone. So one phone, and all beds wireless controlled from that phone - or beds hard-wired to control one another, or a combination of these scenarios. That's what I meant by "network", my apologies. I tend to inadvertently throw a lot of people off with my screwy lexicon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Griff_LI View Post
But the OP says it worked fine with his old iPhone so it _can_ work without a separate router. The implication is that the bed does host a network (and the complaints about the app having to switch WiFi access points when you have two beds would kinda back that up).

I'm pretty sure I've connected my S4 to non-internet-connected WiFi networks, though, so the OPs assertion is either wrong or he has a different model of phone/version of software to me. Does the network connect at all ? If not then I can't see how the phone could know the network has no route to the internet.

Often when you connect to hotel/pub WiFi you get connected but actually have to go through a pay-wall to get internet access, in the first instance that network ISN'T connected to the internet so I'm fairly sure the assertion is wrong.

What happens when you connect squidbilly?
At first it would say, "Obtaining IP adress", then "Checking the quality of your internet connection", then lastly it would state "Network disabled because Internet connection is slow".

I'm still learning this phone, so I left the auto network switch alone up until now.

Thanks, all!
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Old January 21st, 2014, 05:32 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigRedGonzo View Post
Just a suggestion ... instead of "avoid poor connections" try unchecking "Auto Network Switch." That keeps my phone attached to the WiFi network at the office, even though the internet drops frequently. If I have "Auto Network Switch" checked, I get messages all day long telling me the WiFi has been turned off because of poor internet connectivity.
I'm glad this fixed the op's issue.

But I have a question relative to this switch. Mine is on. Nearly every day I walk around my work building and into and out of wifi environments. I never see a message about wifi being turned off because of poor internet connectivity. I wonder why our experience is different?
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 09:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Mine is on. Nearly every day I walk around my work building and into and out of wifi environments. I never see a message about wifi being turned off because of poor internet connectivity. I wonder why our experience is different?
How's your mobile data signal in those same areas?
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 10:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The mobile data signal comes and goes too. There are times I can't text MSG or mms message, typically when I'm buried in the bowels of the building and have little or no coverage.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 12:27 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
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The mobile data signal comes and goes too. There are times I can't text MSG or mms message, typically when I'm buried in the bowels of the building and have little or no coverage.
That is more than likely why you don't see much of the switching. It is supposed to only switch if the WiFi is poor and the carrier's network is good. It is designed to provide you with a good internet experience and probably force you to use more carrier data than you would normally.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 12:51 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Could be. We have wifi spread throughout a large group of buildings (school rooms, gyms, cafeteria, etc.) and the wifi signal ebbs and flows as you walk (or even drive close by). The mobile data signal sometimes gets low to non-existant in certain areas too. But I think I've only seen that poor wifi signal quality once... and I'm not sure it was at my work location that I saw it.

I do see notifications about being disconnected from whatever wifi area I just left, but nothing intrusive... just in the notification bar. It probably also tells me when it connects to another wifi. I can't recall.
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