Android 8.1’s new speed labels rate public WiFi networks before you connect

Have you ever looked at the public WiFi options in your phone settings and wished you could see what sort of speed you could expect to experience from each of them before you connect? Well, Google has taken notice of your plight and flipped a switch to enable you to do just that, with the small requirement that your phone should be running Android 8.1 Oreo

The appearance of the speed labels means that, for the first time, we no longer have to suffer the indignity of taking the time to sign up to a public WiFi network to experience a tragically poor download speed of 384KB, despite the signal being rated as ‘Excellent’. Public WiFi networks will be given one of the following ratings:

  • Slow: If you can use WiFi calling, you can make phone calls and send texts (0 – 1Mbps)
  • OK: You can read web pages, use social media, and stream music (1 – 5 Mbps)
  • Fast: You can stream most videos (5 – 20 Mbps)
  • Very Fast: You can stream very high-quality videos (more than 20Mbps)

The speed labels can be disabled by navigating to Settings/Network & Internet/WiFi/WiFi Preferences/Advanced/Network Rating/Provider/ and toggling the None option. The speed labels will unfortunately not work on WiFi networks that require a password to log in. If you have a phone running Android 8.1 Oreo, does the appearance of the speed labels float your boat?

Source: Google (Twitter)

About the Author: Peter Holden

He's been an Android fan ever since owning an HTC Hero, with the Dell Streak being his first phablet. He currently carries a Pixel 2 XL, Huawei P20 Pro, and a Huawei MediaPad M5 (8.4) in his pockets and thinks nothing of lugging a 17-inch laptop around in his backpack. When not immersed in the world of Android and gadgets, he's an avid sports fan, and like all South Africans, he loves a good Braai (BBQ).