Thursday, January 24, 2013

WiFi Ruler - an essential Android App

One of the good thinks about living in a well developed country is that you can get mobile internet access most places. What is even better is the fact that, you will nearly always be able to find a café or similar establishment which is willing to offer free Wifi internet access. However,  one thing that really annoys me is that many of these free access points will require you to click on a button to say that you accept their terms and conditions of use. I understand that mostly they have been advised to do this by overly cautious lawyers, but it is really quite ridiculous because nobody ever reads those terms and conditions anyway and if you were tempted to engage in illegal activity you would hardly be put off by the need to click on a button.

The reason why this feature is annoying is because many people would like to set up their phone to automatically connect to certain WiFi access points when encountered. This saves you the bother of explicitly configuring your phone to connect to the WiFi service every time that you enter the café. However, if the café has a "clickwall" connecting to the WiFi is not enough to give you internet access unless you explicitly launch your phone's browser and click on the button. What is even more frustrating is that your phone will probably disconnect from your mobile provider's 3G service on the assumption that you don't need this when you are connected via WiFi.

Luckily I recently found out that there is an Android app called WifiRuler, which can solve this problem. It allows you to set up rules for what to do immediately after you connect to a particular WiFi service e.g. click on the accept point or enter your username/password. This application will stay running in the background and automatically accept the terms & conditions on your behalf. There is even a blog where you can get new versions.

There is a paid and free version of the application, but to be honest I am not sure what the difference is.

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