Quick app review: Better WiFi On/Off for Android

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There are quite a few apps for Android which allow you to manage settings based certain rules and if-then situations, which work quite well for gaining granular control over your device. Andreas is particularly fond of Tasker for its incredibly diverse functionality, but there are also other apps such as Llama and Locale that can perform similar functions. However, for newer users there is a problem with many of these apps: They are often extremely complicated and have a difficult learning curve. So, if a user wants to perform some simple automation of something like WiFi, although Tasker and other apps certainly have the features to do so, they aren’t always the best solution for users who are just starting out with rule-based actions.

As usual, thanks to the extensive Android developer community, an app has been created for just that type of situation. Called Better WiFi On/Off, the app was created by XDA user chamonis to allow users to more easily take control of how WiFi works. The app itself is fairly simple, and the main screen simply shows an event log of actions that have been logged, such as WiFi turning off when the display turns off. The preferences menu is where you can really get things done, as there are easy checkboxes for nearly every situation. First, there are the obvious controls for enabling the app, starting the app on boot, and making sure that the Android system doesn’t kill the app.

Then there’s the actual WiFi control settings, helpfully organized into two sections based on whether they concern turning WiFi on or off. In the first section, you have the “Rules for turning WiFi on,” which includes actions for when the display is turned on, when the display is unlocked, when the device is plugged in, and even an option to keep WiFi on only until it loses connection. In the “Rules for turning WiFi off” section, you have option to do so when the device is unplugged, when the screen is off, and an option to set the amount of time to wait before the WiFi times out. There are also a number of planned features, including location and time based settings, as well as whitelisted access points to always stay connected to.

It may be a simple app, but I can see many of the features (especially turning WiFi off when the connection is lost) being useful. Personally, I always forget to turn WiFi off when I leave the house, and while I could set up a Tasker or Llama profile to do this, the simple settings in this app can turn off WiFi when it gets out of range with much less work. In fact, Better WiFi On/Off worked quite well for this in my use, and has already saved me from losing battery from my phone looking for WiFi networks. When the planned features are finally added, I can only see it becoming more useful. While it may not have the extensive features of other apps, Better WiFi On/Off does its job quite well, and I can certainly see a use for simpler rule-based action apps such as this one.

You can download the current beta of the app through the XDA source link below, and the developer plans to add it to the Google Play Store in the near future when the stable version is released.

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Aaron Orquia

Aaron Orquia is an associate editor at Pocketables. He has been using Android and Linux since he bought his first computer years ago, and his interest in technology, software, and tweaking both to work just right has only grown stronger since then. His current gadgets include a OnePlus One, a Pebble smartwatch, and an Acer C720 Chromebook.

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