Apart from bug fixes and general performance improvement; the Android 8.1 Oreo update brings a feature that will show users expected speed of certain public Wi-Fi networks.
It is worth noting that this is primarily designed for open Wi-Fi connections and so is more informative about Wi-Fi you might be considering using in public places.
Basically, now it will tell you if the Wi-Fi signal is going to be good enough for you to do what you want the Wi-Fi to do in the first place.
As part of this week’s announcement however, a Community Manager over at the Pixel User Community has confirmed some of the smaller, but useful additional features included in the final version of Android 8.1. Such as Wi-Fi Speed labels.
Here’s an explanation from Orrin:
- Slow = 0 – 1 Mbps
- OK = 1 Mbps – 5 Mbps
- Fast = 5 Mbps – 20 Mbps
- Very Fast = 20 Mbps+
You can see the numerical range above, but here’s what Google’s Support page for the topic describes them as:
- Slow: You can make phone calls and send texts.
- OK: You can read webpages, use social media, and stream music.
- Fast: You can stream most videos.
- Very Fast: You can stream very high-quality videos.
If you don’t want to see network speed, open your device’s Settings > Network & Internet >Wi-Fi >Wi-Fi Preferences >Advanced Network rating provider >None.
This is slightly different to the Wi-Fi strength information which is already available on newer Android releases. As while Wi-Fi icons do highlight the strength of a Wi-Fi signal, the new speed feature is designed to provide some insight to how fast the user can expect the Wi-Fi to be if connecting to nearby Wi-Fi.