by: BitWorks Apps • 63
*Note: Wifi Pilot will not function on Android 4.2+ (Google changed the rules on toggling Airplane Mode for Jelly Bean; the methods used here target Android 2.3+ as used in the current Republic Wireless product offering)
Wifi Pilot is an Airplane Mode management / battery-saver app, intended for Republic Wireless users but may be useful for others as well.
With Republic Wireless' "Hybrid Technology", when you are at home and connected to your wifi signal, there is not much need for the cellular radio to be turned on, and in fact the cellular radio can drain the battery very quickly if you are in a poor coverage area.
That's where Wifi Pilot comes in ... you simply configure it with the SSID (network name) of your home wifi, and from then on when it detects that you are connected to that network, it turns on Airplane mode which turns off the cellular radio.
When you leave your home area and your phone disconnects from the wifi network, Wifi Pilot turns Airplane Mode back off, thus re-enabling the cellular radio.
Wifi Pilot supports up to 8 'known' SSID's, so you can program it to turn Airplane Mode on when you are at home, at the office, the local coffee shop, your friend's house, etc.
It also has a 'temporary' setting that lets you turn on Airplane Mode when you are on an 'unknown' wifi network. It will then turn Airplane Mode back off again when you disconnect from that network, saving you from being 'off the grid' if you forget to do that!
Wifi Pilot can extend the time you get from a battery charge by significant amounts depending on how you use your phone.
In a typical scenario, you might spend 1 hour commuting to work, 8 hours at work, 1 hour commuting home, and 14 hours at home.
If you have wifi at work and at home, Wifi Pilot could keep your cellular radio turned off for up to 22 hours a day, resulting in significant battery savings, all completely automatically!
Wifi Pilot also has a feature whereby you can configure it to turn Airplane Mode back on, when you have the phone on a charger.
This is handy if, for some reason, you want to have the cellular radio on even though you are connected to wifi, when doing so won't hurt your battery life.
Wifi Pilot turns off the cellular radio by turning on Airplane Mode.
If your phone is set up such that turning on Airplane Mode also turns off the wifi radio, then there will be a conflict.
Wifi Pilot detects this condition and tells you about it, and doesn't attempt to turn on Airplane Mode in that situation.
There are several apps available to help you set up your phone so that Airplane Mode turns off only the cellular radio and not the wifi radio; you'll have to use one of them to set it up properly before Wifi Pilot will work.
You can find them with a search phrase such as "airplane mode cellular wifi".
BitWorks Apps would like to thank matthewc, a fellow Republic Wireless user, for code contributions to this project.
Tags: wifi pilot