Google rolls out Android 8.1 Oreo update with Wi-Fi Speed Labels
Google has revealed a new Android feature that checks Wi-Fi network speeds before connecting. It is rolling out to smartphones that support the latest Android 8.1 Oreo update.
As of this writing, Google Pixel handset users already have this feature through the update, as they always come first in the tech giant’s list of supported handsets.
While Google-branded handsets that support 8.1 Oreo will surely receive it, most Android devices are still in the dark. Vendors and service providers still have the last say on the update schedule and which devices they will support.
Google says the update comes with new features, better performance and tighter security—all in one package.
In December last year, Google Groups community manager Orrin wrote in the official Google Pixel forum page what features to expect with 8.1 Oreo.
He highlighted some new features:
Wi-Fi Speed Labels
The update comes with Wi-Fi Speed labels. This feature advises the handset user the speed of the wireless connections within a scanned area.
You can use it to search for available wireless connections in public areas. It shows a clear preview if a network is fast enough for your intended use.
After updating, your Wi-Fi settings menu will flash speed labels: Slow for 0-1 Mbps, OK for 1-5 Mbps, Fast for 5-20 Mbps, and Very Fast for 20 Mbps or more.
If you regularly stream high-quality HD videos, your preferred connection should be Very Fast, as recommended by Google. A Fast connection will give you enough stability to stream video contents in Full HD though.
Google adds that an OK Wi-Fi speed label is for normal usage, especially involving emails, online browsing, audio streaming and social networking.
Despite its sluggish performance, Slow wireless connections will still show up in your list of Wi-Fi networks. (You have been warned.)
Like most other Android open features, you have the option to deactivate the feature under the Wi-Fi settings menu.
Public Wi-Fi can be spotty. For the first time, #AndroidOreo 8.1 lets you take out the guesswork & see the speed of networks before you hit connect. Rolling out now: https://t.co/lSzvCFgNk7 pic.twitter.com/60EmoPxUX4
— Android (@Android) January 22, 2018
Open Network Notifications
The 8.1 Oreo update comes with other add-ons. Google will also allow your Android device to see available wireless connections (SSID) and access them directly through the Notification Panel.
The company has been keen on its plan to speed up Android features by streamlining features and trimming down cyclical or bulky functionalities.
Smart Text Selection
The latest Android Oreo update will come with Smart Text Selection. This tool enhances the copy-paste experience.
It automatically recognizes text when you press and hold, highlights the relevant word or phrase, and recommends the next logical step through a suggest app. It can recognize names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, URLs and more.
The Android 8.1 Oreo update will also bring with a host of bug fixes and enhancements on performance of Google’s mobile operating system.