Smarter Wi-Fi Manager manages your Android phone Wi-Fi connection by automatically learning where you use networks. Wi-Fi is only enabled when you are in a location you have previously used Wi-Fi, increasing battery life, security, and privacy.
Smarter Wi-Fi Manager is an experiment in funding open source – while it is a paid app in the Android marketplace, it is also fully open source under the GPLv2 license, and the code is available below.
When in doubt, be smart
Smarter Wi-Fi Manager aims to be smart – in general, it should be invisible and will manage your Wi-Fi state in the background.
Airplane mode and Wi-Fi Tethering modes are detected and respected – when in these modes, Smarter Wi-Fi Manager will get out of your way.
Benefits – There are several benefits:
- Save battery. By disabling Wi-Fi when you are not actually in a place you use it, you prevent your phone from constantly trying to connect to networks you’re nowhere near.
- “Better” data. Stop your phone from trying to jump on random ‘linksys’ networks just because a friend didn’t configure their AP and now it’s in your favorite list.
- Improved bluetooth audio. BT audio seems to skip and pop while the phone is scanning or trying to connect to wireless networks. By turning off Wi-Fi when connected to your car stereo, there’s much less skipping.
- Increased privacy. Since Wi-Fi will be turned off, your phone won’t be broadcasting your home network name everywhere you go!
- And finally, increased security. There are many attacks against Wi-Fi which spoof access points – and for many of them, all they need to know is the name of the network your phone is looking for. When your phone is probing for networks you’re nowhere near, anyone can spoof one of those networks and start sniffing your traffic.
Controlling when your phone connects to Wi-Fi is even more important when considering recent bugs discovered in Android ad platforms. You can read more here about man-in-the-middle attacks against Android wireless traffic!
How it works:
- Smarter Wi-Fi Manager automatically learns where you use Wi-Fi by learning what cell towers are nearby.
- When you go to a new location for the first time, simply turn on Wi-Fi manually. As long as you’re successfully connected to a network, Smarter Wi-Fi Manager will learn what towers are nearby.
- When you leave the range of a Wi-Fi network, Smarter Wi-Fi Manager will automatically turn off the Wi-Fi radio.
- When you return to a location previous learned, Wi-Fi will be enabled automatically.
- Some networks – like those run by cable companies, or default access point names like ‘linksys’ – appear all over. These networks can confuse the auto-learning system and cause it to leave Wi-Fi turned on far more often than might be desired.
- Adding a network to the ignored list turns off auto-learning while connected to that network name. Learning will be automatically re-enabled once you leave that network, either by disconnecting or by changing to another network.
- Smarter Wi-Fi Manager can turn off Wi-Fi when connected to specified Bluetooth devices.
- For example, it may be desirable to turn off Wi-Fi networking whenever you are connected to your car stereo. While connected to the blacklisted device, Wi-Fi will stay off and learning will be disabled.
- Smarter Wi-Fi Manager can turn Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on, or off, within specific time ranges.
- Always somewhere with no Wi-Fi signal, or where Wi-Fi is prohibited, at the same time each day or week? Set a time range to automatically turn off Wi-Fi – and keep it off.
Recent Android security announcements made me push the release of the first version of Smarter Wi-Fi Manager a little. Planned for future releases are:
- Geofencing for high-accuracy control and exclusion
- Inter-app notification so scanning apps can suspend SWM
- Management of the Android Wi-Fi network priority list to only connect to the learned network
- Want to test the latest betas and contribute feedback and feature requests? Join the beta test group on Google+:
- G+ Smarter Wi-Fi Manager Beta Testers Then click on the “Join test” link in the community description.
Get the Code:
Smarter Wi-Fi Manager is a paid app for Android, however, it is open source under the GPLv2 license.
While your support of open source is greatly appreciated, for those who do not wish to purchase the app may compile their own. SWM was built in Android Studio – while it should be possible to compile using Eclipse, it will require some modifications.
Source for Smarter Wi-Fi Manager is available as a Git repository:
git clone https://www.kismetwireless.net/android-smarterwifi.git
GitWeb browseable source is at:
- Some icons derived from The Noun Project, a great resource for stylized icons.
Security & Privacy
- SWM does not collect personal information from your device.
- Tower identification numbers are not exported from your device.