Google has just announced this week that the Wi-Fi Assistant tech being utilized in its Project Fi wireless service is now made available to owners of Nexus devices, no matter what network they are using. Which Nexus devices exactly? These include all Nexus handsets powered by Android Lollipop 5.1 or any newer version, namely the Nexus 4, the Nexus 5, the Nexus 6, the Nexus 5X, the Nexus 6P, the Nexus 7, the Nexus 9, and the Nexus 10. For those not familiar with the Wi-Fi Assistant, Google uses this feature to automatically and safely connect handsets to any free public Wi-Fi hotspot.
Google first introduced its Project Fi wireless service back in April of last year. The service makes full use of local Wi-Fi networks as well as cellular coverage courtesy of major US wireless carriers T-Mobile and Sprint. Project Fi has the ability to connect to over a million Wi-Fi hotspots in order to give its customers affordable access to the world wide web. And when Wi-Fi connections are spotty or nonexistent, Project Fi switches to cellular networks from T-Mobile and Sprint. Basically what makes Project Fi work so well is its technology that allows it to smoothly jump from public Wi-Fi hotspots to cellular networks when needed, and the remarkable thing is that everything is done automatically, with the user never worrying about changing any setting. When connecting to Wi-Fi networks, Google encrypts the connection, essentially making sure that any information exchanged via the free public Wi-Fi hotspot is as safe as regular cellular connections.
And now the folks at Google have decided that this capability should be made available to every user of a Nexus handset, even if they are not customers of Project Fi. This gives Nexus owners some flexibility, and even savings -- by offloading their usage to Wi-Fi networks, Nexus users can make sure their cellular data every month do not get emptied that easily. Sure, any mobile user can exploit free available Wi-Fi hotspots, but owners of Nexus devices have added protection -- Google’s Wi-Fi Assistant provides automatic encryption of any Wi-Fi connection, and users do not have to do anything to connect to Wi-Fi.
As noted by Simon Arscott, the project manager for Project Fi, incorporating a feature originally meant for Project Fi into mobile devices not necessarily tied to Google’s wireless service is all part of a bigger plan. Arscott explains that apart from being a venue for exploring different ways in which to deliver wireless services, Project Fi also served as testing ground for fresh new ideas.
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