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Opinion: WiFi and Data Switching

How big a priority is this for you?

  • Total voters


Jan 27, 2018
In my daily experience I routinely encounter a significant loss of internet connectivity while using my Android smartphone, a Samsung Galaxy S9+. An iPhone could actually save me a lot of time and hassle because of how well "Wifi Assist" works. I think this should be addressed by Google and Android developers.

My morning commute involves both walking and a bus ride. I live 6 blocks from the bus stop, so I check the transit app while I'm walking there. As I walk in the morning, my Galaxy S9+ maintains the wifi connection to my apartment despite the signal being too weak. I can be a block and a half away, and the phone continues to use my apartment's wifi. So, every morning after leaving my apartment building, I have no internet throughput for a few minutes. I re-connect to the internet when either of the following happens: (1) I turn WiFi off. (2) The phone finally decides to switch to data. And to make things worse, whether it's option 1 or option 2 that restores my internet connection, both of them cause the transit app to crash, if I had it open before establishing an internet connection.

A similar situation happens on my commute home.

Two problems need to be solved here:
1. Allow much faster switching between WiFi and data.
2. The OS should handle an internet connection in such a way that a loss of or change to the internet connection never causes an app to crash.

I am not asking for a solution for myself. I want to raise an issue that I think should be solved for everyone.

In 2019 I don't think any phone should have this problem. It's easy to imagine that this could be a very frustrating issue for a first-time Android user. They will see the android experience as being riddled with more "hassles" than the iPhone experience, if they previously owned an iPhone. Also I don't think it's realistic to expect anyone to want to switch to android if those two improvements are not made. The loss of WiFi-assist was a huge consideration for me when I switched to android, and I'm frustrated with it now that my daily driver is an Android.

Android phones are more common among people on a budget, and so is WiFi usage and reliance on public transit.

For as long as android users have to deal with issues like this, Apple ads portraying Android as a choppy, last-gen experience will be convincing.

Thanks for reading. If you've made it this far, could you be bothered to reply and tell me how well your phone handles switching between WiFi and Data, and also tell me which model you have? I'm also curious if this experience may vary with hardware or even the carrier. I am using a Galaxy S9+ on Verizon, and it is the Verizon model. I previously had a iPhone 5 on Verizon, and iPhone 6S+ on Verizon, both of which handled switching between wifi and data far better than my Galaxy S9+.



For those who might say this is impossible, please also say why. Apple has found a solution. A solution must be possible for Android as well.

My girlfriend, who has an iPhone, walks with me in the morning and she never encounters an interruption to internet connectivity while exiting our apartment building and walking away from it.

I am under the impression that this happens to all Android users. Correct me if that is wrong!

On my Galaxy S9+, with the Android 9 pie update, there are new "adaptive WiFi" settings, but they aren't much help. I've been fiddling with them for > 3 months, and they don't make any noticeable improvements, even after doing a factory reset.

Never worrying about your internet connection is currently a luxury only available to iPhone users and those with unlimited data plans.

I'm a graduate student, and I don't really have the time to spend to properly write an article about this, so rather than citing statistics and facts, I've taken a persuasive/opinion approach to writing this post. If you're concerned with this issue, please do you due diligence and find statistics/facts/studies on your own and interpret them for yourself, and maybe even write your own post with those facts and statistics, either as a reply here which I can highlight by editing my original post, or as a new post. Don't forget to think for yourself. Do not let me or others think for you. I'm kind of an id10t, don't take my words as the truth, but as topics you can investigate on your own if you are interested.

How do I raise this issue to google/android developers? Do they read these forums?


Trusted Member
Feb 23, 2011
I personally switch Wi-Fi off and on based based on my location (which isn't consistent enough to care to use a task manager for that), so I don't encounter your specific problem. A couple of points, though.

You mentioned the Transit app crashing, which is odd. Sometimes an app may hiccup (I.e. A streaming service pauses until the next connection is made), but rarely do I see one of my apps do a full crash when switching networks. If you're only experiencing this with that one app, that sounds more like a problem with how the app is programmed than anything. So I'd suggest contacting the developer and see if this is a bug they can fix.

There is one thing you can try that is meant to handle this sort of issue with network switching. It's not always a 100% fix, but worth a shot. Turn on developer options in your phone if you haven't already. settings > about phone > software info > tap "build number" about 7 times in quick succession. Then back out to the main settings screen and you should see the developer options near the bottom. Go into it and turn on these two options.