Networking

Give your Android device instant access to all your Wi-Fi spots

Wi-Fi PC Sync takes all the stored Wi-Fi passwords on your Windows computer and transfers them over to your Android phone.

Google knows that very few people are good with typing in long passages on tiny smartphone keyboards. That's why they built speech-to-text translation into every modern Android phone. But most Wi-Fi passwords aren't the kind you can say out loud, or at least they shouldn't be pronounceable. So an app like Wi-Fi PC Sync is kind of a lifesaver, even if you only use it once.

Wi-Fi PC Sync does just one thing: it takes all the stored Wi-Fi passwords on your Windows computer and transfers them over to your Android phone. That means that whenever your Android phone is near a Wi-Fi network that your computer has previously logged into, your phone will connect automatically, assuming its Wi-Fi scanner is turned on.

When your Android is connected to Wi-Fi, it generally moves quicker on the Internet, uses less battery power, and can provide a more accurate and quick location to apps that try to geo-locate you. Even if Wi-Fi PC Sync only provides one or two passwords to your phone that you can never remember, or saves you just a bit of battery life, it's the kind of long-tail upgrade that's worth the very small investment.

I'm always a bit surprised to discover how many people with new Android phones have yet to even turn on their Wi-Fi capability, let alone connect to their home and office networks. All smartphones benefit from Wi-Fi connectivity, but phone designers don't go out of their way to make Wi-Fi a second-nature kind of service. It's the top-most item in the iPhone's Settings list, but it's still tucked away in the Settings.

Android phones offer a Power Control widget you can use to quickly toggle Wi-Fi on and off, but that widget is one that most non-Nexus phone owners have to discover and place on their screens themselves. Android phones also offer a synchronization with your Google account, such that Wi-Fi passwords are stored and synced to any future Android devices you fire up, but I've found that Wi-Fi password syncing is not rock-solid dependable.

So grab Wi-Fi PC Sync from the Android Market, for free, and install it on your Windows laptop and Android phone. For now, it's a nice solution to a problem Google should address more enthusiastically in future Android upgrades. (A hearty hat tip to Lifehacker for pointing out this little Android gem).

About

Kevin Purdy is a freelance writer, a former editor at Lifehacker.com, and the author of The Complete Android Guide.

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