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Support Disable 3G and use Wi-Fi?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by MrFlipside, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. MrFlipside

    MrFlipside Newbie
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    I had a HTC Touch Pro 2 (didn't like WinMo...) and I could 'turn off' the 3G connection, and instead 'turn on' Wi-Fi. Is it that Android doesn't offer this option or is there some way to make this happen that I'm missing?
     

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  2. GregTard

    GregTard Well-Known Member
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    I am an IT Manager for a software development comp
    SwitchPro is in the market and you can add many data connection switches to your home screen to make them easily accessible. The 3G connection is one of those. I think, though I am probably wrong, that if it has a Wi-Fi connection, then it will not use the 3G connection.

    For 2.2, there is an option in the Data manager settings menu. I do not know if that option is on 2.1 since it has been a while since I used it.
     
  3. MrFlipside

    MrFlipside Newbie
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    Thanks for the suggestion! My comments are based upon what I'm seeing on the display of my phone... When I have Wi-Fi connected, the 3G icon in the top tray is still active, so I'm ASSUMING that it's still active...
     
  4. Bitbang3r

    Bitbang3r Well-Known Member
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    Unless you aren't in the US and have to pay by the byte, or you're doing something that requires routing of inbound tcp/ip to the phone (and thus won't work unless you're using wimax or wi-fi), why would you even *want* to disable 3G in favor of wi-fi?

    Android wi-fi sucks, period. Actually, wi-fi in general sucks. It's the nature of wi-fi. It just doesn't do well in devices that move around. Try this experiment: connect to your home access point, launch something that streams data, then walk out the front door and drive away from your house. 10 to 1, the app will crap out and die before you make it to the first stop sign, because the phone will try *really* hard to use wi-fi. So hard, in fact, that it won't willingly switch from wi-fi to 3G until you've been getting hard network errors for at least 5-10 seconds. Ever see "no network" when running a networked app on your phone? Blame wi-fi.

    Ditto, for just roaming around. Your phone can "see" the SSID broadcasts of other access points long before it's close enough to meaningfully use them. If you're happily using 3G, then wander into an area with an unsecured access point, your phone is going to latch onto it, even if it's a worse signal and less reliable connection than the 3G you were happily using moments earlier. And when it happens... boom. No network.

    Half the problem is that Android uses a more or less stock wi-fi stack from desktop linux, and half the problem is that Android's designers left it that way as a deliberate policy to ensure that they'd never get blamed for running up someone's bill by favoring 3G over wi-fi. They never really anticipated the situation we ended up having in the US, where it's basically impossible to buy an Android phone and use it without a nominally-unlimited data plan, so wi-fi ends up being more of a drawback and liability than a benefit in real-world daily use.

    Ideally, the network stack would monitor all available connections, and dynamically route traffic through the best available one (falling back to others automatically and transparently if one route fails). Unfortunately, that doesn't happen (and actually, I'm not sure whether it's even ABLE to happen if your wi-fi connectivity is to a consumer-grade cable/dsl model through a NAT router, as opposed to a direct connection into a carrier-grade NOC where things like BGP are available). The point is, in most real use cases you're likely to encounter with an Android phone, wi-fi will cause you more grief than anything, and you're generally better off pretending that it just doesn't exist unless you have some specific, compelling reason to do otherwise.
     
  5. MrFlipside

    MrFlipside Newbie
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    Well, truth be told, I do go to some places in the boonies here in the US, and there isn't any cell service currently. So an option is to find some hot spots or tap into the Wi-Fi network at the spot(s) that I frequent...
     
  6. gtl408

    gtl408 Member
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    Disabling 3G when not needed and especially in a weak 3G area also conserves your battery life quite a bit.
     
  7. daddyd302

    daddyd302 Android Enthusiast
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    If you turn off 3g doesn't that mean you won't be able to get calls??
     

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