Android offers a host of options to help make sure usage is efficient and seamless. One such area where this gets crucial comes in the realm of network signal strength. You always want to make sure you're connected to the strongest possible network available—be it wireless or data. But how can you manage this? Let's take a look at two possible options.
The latest OnePlus Oxygen comes with a number of handy improvements, many of which did an outstanding job of making the usage of those mobile devices more efficient. One of those improvements is the addition of the Smart Wi-Fi switcher. What this feature does is automatically switch between wireless and mobile data, depending upon which has the best connectivity and signal strength. In other words, you might be bouncing between mobile data and wireless networks, but your device will always (automatically) remain on the strongest network. This is very handy when you're constantly on the go and bouncing between consulting gigs and clients. And the good news is that with later builds of Oxygen the feature is built in, so there's no third-party app to installed.
Let me show you how to enable this feature. It's incredibly simple and doesn't require the manual configuration of networks. I'll be demonstrating on a OnePlus 3, running Android 8.0.0 and OxygenOS OP3_02_Open_31.
To enable the OnePlus Smart Wi-Fi switcher, open up Settings and then tap Wi-Fi. In this window, tap on Wi-Fi preferences ( Figure A).
Within the Wi-Fi preferences window ( Figure B), tap to enable Smart Wi-Fi switcher.
Once enabled, your OnePlus device will start automatically switching between the data and WiFi network, depending upon which has the strongest signal.
Other Android devices
If your Android isn't of the OnePlus variety, fear not, there's an app for that. If you head over to the Google Play Store and install Wifi Switcher, your device will always make sure it's connect to the wireless router with the strongest signal. This could make a big difference if you're working in a large building, with multiple access points.
Once you've installed the app, open it and then tap to select the preferred networks ( Figure C).
With your preferred networks set, you must then configure the Switch Range (a threshold that determines how weak a signal must be before the app switches between networks). To do this, tap the menu button from the main window and then tap Settings. In the Settings window ( Figure D), drag the Switch Range slider to the left to lower the Switch Range or to the right to raise it.
You can also disable the "ask before switching" option, so the switching of access points isn't put on hold, until you give it the okay.
Other than that, you're set. Your Android device will now seamlessly switch between access points on your network, so you always have the strongest signal.
Different approaches, similar results
Although these two methods are quite different (one switches between data and wireless, whereas the other switches only between wireless), the end result is the same—your Android device will connect to the network with the strongest signal. For those who find themselves in areas that suffer signal dips and dives, this can be a real game changer
- How to run cloned versions of apps with OnePlus Parallel Apps (TechRepublic)
- How to add a second fingerprint for your OnePlus device (TechRepublic)
- How to use the OnePlus built-in app locker (TechRepublic)
- How to snooze notifications in Android Oreo (TechRepublic Video)
- Android users beware: Oreo could be using your mobile data even when Wi-Fi is on (TechRepublic)
- Android Oreo vs Android One vs Android Go: All their differences, explained (ZDNet)
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.