Automatic Wi-Fi on Windows Phone 8.1

As I continue my exploration of the Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview on my Nokia Lumia 1520 I came across a handy setting for Wi-Fi that I want to share.

Many of us use a Wi-Fi connection on our phones when we are in certain locations, typically in our homes or at work, and that can be for many reasons including poor cellular reception or to cut down on data charges from our carrier plans.

In Windows Phone 8 Wi-Fi was either on or off.

However, in Windows Phone 8.1 Wi-Fi can turn itself on and off based on your location.

In the Wi-Fi settings, when you turn Wi-Fi off, you will be prompted with an option to select when to turn Wi-Fi back on.

wp_ss_20140418_0001

As you can see your options for when to turn Wi-Fi back on include:

  • in 1 hour
  • in 4 hours
  • in 1 day
  • near my favorite places
  • manually

All of those are handy when you need your Wi-Fi off for a specific period of time but the one that is really nice is the near my favorite places option.

Your favorite places on Windows Phone 8.1 is tied to your new personal digital assistant Cortana.

Just go to Cortana by pressing the Search button and then tap on the Cortana notebook icon, three white lines, in the upper right part of the main Cortana screen.

This will bring up the notebook menu and you can tap the places option.

wp_ss_20140418_0005

The next screen will show you the places you have added to Cortana’s Notebook as your favorite places.

wp_ss_20140418_0006

Those favorite locations are what the Wi-Fi settings use as a trigger to turn your Wi-Fi on and off as you either arrive at or leave them,

I love this concept and it works well however, I do have one issue with it.

There is no option to pick specific locations for the Wi-Fi to turn on and off and that means it either works at every favorite location or you must turn off the feature.  The ideal would be to add an additional setting under the favorites page in Cortana’s Notebook to tag that location as a Wi-Fi location for this feature.

Of course once you arrive at a favorite location you can just turn Wi-Fi off using the Quick Actions button in the Notification Center.

wp_ss_20140418_0003

Pin It

4 thoughts on “Automatic Wi-Fi on Windows Phone 8.1

  1. Pingback: Joe Belfiore’s Reddit AMA – Says Windows Phone 8.1 feature gap is almost closed | WindowsObserver.com

  2. Pingback: @WinObs Tweeted Links for April 18, 2014 | WindowsObserver.com Wiki

  3. I see in that first screen shot there is a button “manage”. I have been asking for quite some time to be able to add static IP addresses per Wi-Fi connection. For example at work I need a static IP to connect. At home, I use DHCP. I’ve never been able to use our wireless at work. Is that finally doable in 8.1?