Google introduced the automatic Wi-Fi wake-up feature with Android 8.0 Oreo for the Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. The feature turns on Wi-Fi automatically to connect to high-quality saved networks. The feature wasn’t available on all Android powered devices running Oreo at the start due to it being an optional feature which smartphone manufacturers could choose to enable. However, a new report by XDAdevelopers states that it will be available in all devices running Android 9.0 Pie as a stock option.
According to the report, XDAdevelopers skimmed through the AOSP code for Android 9.0 Pie and spotted two new changes which enable this feature by default for all devices that launch or are updated with the new operating system. The first thread change enables the feature on all devices, whereas the next thread change removes the flag entirely which will not let manufacturers disable the feature.
The Wi-Fi wakeup feature utilises Wi-Fi scanning feature located in the location services settings to detect all the nearby Wi-Fi networks in the background. If the algorithm, while scanning, is able to find a trusted and high-quality network, it will automatically turn on the device’s Wi-Fi and connect to it. This helps in saving a lot of battery for the users who stay in areas with a lot of Wi-Fi access points which automatically keep connecting and disconnecting depending upon the network quality.
If you own an Android Oreo device with the feature available, you can switch it on by opening the settings panel, navigating to Wi-Fi, then Wi-Fi Preferences, and clicking the Turn on Wi-Fi automatically option in there. To make this feature work the best, you will also be required to turn on the Wi-Fi scanning feature located inside the location settings.