We are excited to introduce a simpler and more intuitive connectivity experience for Pixel users. The changes are meant to address common pain points that users have with understanding and changing their network connections by promoting a more intuitive experience for users switching between their Internet providers and troubleshooting network connectivity issues that arise.
How can I turn on/off Wi-Fi and Mobile Data?
You can turn off both Wi-Fi and Mobile Data from the new Internet Panel (accessible from the new Internet tile in Quick Settings) by toggling the radio button next to the name of your carrier or the radio button next to “Wi-Fi”.
Why are you making it harder to turn off Wi-Fi?
With this new design, you can quickly switch between Wi-Fi and Cellular connections by just selecting your cell network from the new Internet Panel. From our user studies, we found that the majority of users turn off Wi-Fi in order to force their phone to connect to cellular. This is usually done in response to a poor Wi-Fi connection and the lack of an alternative way to get the phone to explicitly connect to the user’s carrier. Users who turn off Wi-Fi will often forget to turn Wi-Fi back on again, resulting in possible excess mobile data usage. Our research showed that this has been a pain point for users, so we made the decision to address it with this release. With the changes we’re making, users who have Wi-Fi connection issues can simply switch over to using their carrier with two quick taps. In our user research studies, long-time Android users acknowledged that the change took some time to get used to, but once they did, they found the Panel to be a more intuitive and straightforward way for users to solve their Wi-Fi connectivity issues, while reducing user error and unintended consequences.
Will this change affect the Wi-Fi and mobile data switching rules?
Not at all. When you choose to connect to your carrier even though Wi-Fi is available, your Pixel device will attempt to re-connect you to Wi-Fi after a certain amount of time. This is to ensure that you don’t incur excess mobile data usage as a result of having forgotten to switch back to using Wi-Fi.
How do I connect to Wi-Fi networks when Airplane Mode is on?
When Airplane Mode is on, you can connect to Wi-Fi networks in one of two ways:
From Quick Settings, tap on the “Internet” tile to bring up the Internet Panel and then toggle Wi-Fi ON. Select the Wi-Fi network you want to connect to.
From Settings, go to “Network & Internet” and then tap on “Internet”. From there you can toggle “Wi-Fi” ON. Select the Wi-Fi network you want to connect to.
I have two SIMs - why is only one carrier shown in the Internet Panel?
The Internet Panel and the full Internet landing page under Settings only show your default Mobile data SIM carrier. Only one SIM can be the default Mobile data source at any given time. In a future release, we may consider allowing users to see and be able to switch between both SIM carriers for Mobile data from the Internet Panel and Settings.
Can I access the new Internet Panel from the Lock Screen?
In our initial release with Android S, you would need to unlock your device in order to access the Internet Panel from the Lock Screen. However, in an upcoming quarterly Pixel Feature Drop, we plan to make the Internet Panel accessible from the Lock Screen which would give you the ability to turn off Wi-Fi and Mobile Data if needed. Switching between Wi-Fi providers will not be allowed for device security and privacy reasons.
What if I want to turn off Wi-Fi scanning for location tracking purposes?
Users will continue to be able to turn on/off Wi-Fi scanning which is used to improve location-based features and services. Turning off Wi-Fi scanning does NOT turn off the Wi-Fi chip on the device.