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Turning off wifi in Android 4.3 wont really turn it off

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Posted

 

The craziest thing about this 4.3 leak is the new Wi-Fi power settings, where what we think of as "off" isn't really "off" anymore.

 

<string name="wifi_scan_always_available_summary">"Let Google's location service and other apps scan for networks, even when Wi-Fi is off"</string>

<string name="wifi_scan_notify_text_location_on">"To improve location accuracy and for other purposes, Google and other apps may scan for nearby networks, even when Wi-Fi is off. If you don't want this to happen, go to Advanced > Scanning always available."</string>

<string name="wifi_scan_notify_text_location_off">"Apps may scan for nearby networks, even when Wi-Fi is off. If you don't want this to happen, go to Advanced > Scanning always available."</string>

<string name="wifi_scan_always_turnon_message">"To improve location accuracy and for other purposes, %1$s wants to turn on network scanning, even when Wi-Fi is off. Allow this for all apps that want to scan?"</string>
 

Google wants you to leave your Wi-Fi on, or at least partially on, all the time. Now I know you might immediately scream "MY BATTERY LIFES!!11" but this will probably save battery. Google wants you to leave Wi-Fi on so that apps can get your location, but consider that the other option for location is firing up the GPS chip, which is a battery's worst enemy.

The important thing to keep in mind is this if you hate this, you can turn it off. The option is just buried under an "advanced" menu. Turning off "Scanning always available" will make "off" for Wi-Fi really be "off."

Some of this wording is rather interesting: "To improve location accuracy and for other purposes." Those "other purposes" probably (that means this is the speculation part) involves shipping that Wi-Fi location data back to Google, which is how the Wi-Fi location service currently functions. The only way to use Wi-Fi hotspots for location data is to build a map of SSID (hotspot name) locations. You do that by running around with a GPS and Wi-Fi chip and virtually stick Wi-Fi pins on a map. I have a feeling we'll now all be updating those Wi-Fi maps for Google, silently, in the background (unless you hit that checkbox). Hopefully they've found a way to do this without killing the battery. I suspect they have.

 

Source: AndroidPolice

 

i would think this is useless if youre in a small country that theres no wifi everywhere

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Posted

Source: AndroidPolice

 

i would think this is useless if youre in a small country that theres no wifi everywhere

...and so you just turn it off. Problem solved.

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Posted

My carrier has "WI-FI Now" which basically auto connects to any and all open Wi-Fi networks and then shares that SSID and location with their central database.  This is according to them an attempt at helping you save money on your data bill by connecting to open hotspots.  At first this seems cool, but then when you stop and think about the whole aspect of it, your Android login to Google's servers, Facebook login etc...are sent through that network where someone else might be sniffing for such information.   It is for this reason I turned that option off on my phone.    

 

If Google starts doing this with their updated Rom's and my device is going to receive it, I'll be sure to disable that as well. :)

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Posted

And what is the justification for "Let Google's location service and other apps scan for networks, even when Wi-Fi is off"?

Off is off, no?

Clever language, social engineering... tricking one into allowing something they likely wouldn't otherwise do?

Sounds like a virus to me.

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Posted

its ahandy feature at least you can turn it off as locational services can help you with stuff thats near by like traffic weather etc

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Posted

Will actually give you better battery life. Instead of activating GPS for Location, it uses wifi.

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Posted

I read this is actually a feature of 4.3, part of  googles "friendly" battery location services

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