Android 8 could let you use Wi-Fi hotspots like data

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    With Passpoint support, you no longer have to sign in to a Wi-Fi hotspot each time you want to use it, but there is a catch.

    I’m sure we’ve all been there: you’re trying to connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot on the subway, and each time you get to a station, it asks you to authenticate. By the time you sign in, you’ve already left the station. Whether it’s on the subway or in the library or at a coffee shop, connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots can be frustrating, especially when there are multiple hotspots. They often require that you sign in each time you want to connect even if you have before, potentially wasting a huge chunk of your time.

    That’s why the Wi-Fi Alliance introduced Passpoint back in 2012. Wi-Fi Passpoint, or more often referred to as Hotspot 2.0, is an industry-wide solution that eliminates the need for users to find and authenticate a network each time they connect all the while providing the highest WPA2 security. While mobile device manufacturers, network equipment vendors, and operators have been relatively slow to adopt this new standard, it looks like with the latest version of Android, Google is hoping this would change.

    Android 8.0 Oreo is the first time that Google is introducing Wi-Fi Passpoint support and could help transform the way hotspots work into a more cellular data-like experience. However, the catch here is that the software that supports Wi-Fi Passpoint is not compulsory. Each OEM is free to decide if they want to implement it or not, but once it chooses to implement it, there are a few obligations that it must fulfill to ensure the proper functionality of this feature. While Passpoint may never come to your Android Oreo device, depending on the manufacturer, Google’s decision to recommend support for Passpoint is certainly a step in the right direction.

    Would you like to see Passpoint support come to your device? How often do you use hotspots? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

    by Brian Reigh

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