Android users who want to make the most of free public WiFi will now be protected from joining slow and unresponsive networks.
In the new Android 8.1 Oreo update, Google will warn web surfers of the connection speed before they waste time filling out online forms. The WiFi menu will break down speeds into slow, OK, fast and very fast categories.
- Slow speeds, which most people will want to avoid, are those that fail to reach 1 Mbps.
- OK speeds are slightly better at up to 5 Mbps, just do not expect to stream movies.
- Fast is around the UK average speed of home broadband and will clock up to 20 Mbps.
- And for those lucky enough to stumble across very fast public WiFi, it may be worth sitting outside the router with a laptop. Speeds reach beyond 20 Mbps.
Free public WiFi is notoriously poorly connected and Google's new software takes away the guessing game. For anyone not keen on giving away their public details only to be disappointed, it will be a life saver.
Google has been overflowing with handy updates to some of its platforms recently. In December, it announced an update to Google Maps that would alert commuters when it was time to get off their train or bus. Anyone who has ever fallen asleep on the Tube knows how handy this can be.
In the same month, Google released a new version of Android that helped older phones run smoothly. Android Oreo (Go Edition) is designed for smartphones with between 512Mb and 1Gb of RAM, such as the Samsung Galaxy S3 and earlier models. It was announced in May under the preliminary name Android Go.
The software will allow Android phone users to run premium apps such as Google Maps and the Play Store, without their device's limited technical specifications struggling to keep up. It is expected to boost the startup speed of the older models by 30% and increase storage space by up to twice as much.