WP Tips & Tricks: Keep WiFi Running All The Time
I was reading through a forum last night and picked up a tip that I think you will be interested in. I was skeptical at first, but after repeated tests I am convinced this works. There appears to be a bug (or feature) with the iHeartRadio app, or possibly other music type apps, where once the app has launched and music starts playing, even after stopping the music and exiting the app, your WiFi connection will persist. Put your phone to sleep and wake it after several minutes. Your WiFi connection will still be on. In fact, the only way to turn your WiFi connection off is to toggle it off or toggle Airplane Mode.
My Surround has no SIM, so it is WiFi only. The first time I tried this it did activate the iHeartRadio Background Task. But even after turning the Background Task off, WiFi stayed on. Actually, subsequent launches of iHeartRadio did not even turn the Background Task on (after toggling WiFi off/on), although the app still played with the screen off and the WiFi remained on. To verify that I was not just looking at an awake WiFi icon, I put my Surround to sleep, waited several minutes (WiFi normally turns off after 30 seconds) and then sent myself an email from my L900. Within seconds, both phones tingled, announcing a new message. Did it twice just to be sure. Note that WiFi even persists after launching a video, or something else that will knock the paused song off the volume control. Again, the only way to turn off WiFi after iHeartRadio has turned it on is to toggle WiFi off, or turn Airplane Mode on. I have verified this on both my Surround and L900. I tested several other apps on my Surround with Background Agents, like; easyRing&music, Dailymotion, SkyMusic & SuperTube, but none of them reproduced this WiFi persistent on effect. Same no go for the Zune Music application.
Not sure yet if this is a blessing or a curse. It will definitely be my next battery test after completing my round of tests with Edge vs. LTE (that’s not going too well) in another day or two. Will be interesting to see what kind of hit this has on battery life. I also wonder if this may be the cause of some users commenting on terrible battery life, not realizing their WiFi is continuously running.
So if you “need” to have your WiFi running all the time, do the trick described above and let us know if it works for you. And if you find another app that works the same way (Skype is rumored, but not confirmed) be sure to share. Bet iHeartRadio will see an unusual amount of downloads today.
Oh, and thanks “thinkdan” for the tip. Well done.
I can confirm the current version of Skype on my Titan 1 is keeping WiFi on.
Jim, I assume that WiFi persists “after” you back out of the Skype app? My guess is some featured apps, like iHeartRadio and Skype, have some privileges, like OEM apps, that are creataing this exploit.
I am going to try and keep WiFi on all day to get a sense of how it impacts battery life. And I am also curious to know if it will remain on all day. WiFi will toggle on/off every two hours (at least when data is disabled) to check for updates. Not sure what circumstances control that toggle, but this will be a good test.
I’ve been doing this since like december/januari with spotify. Just back out at the log in screen, and wifi stays on.
Dont know if it lasts as long, but it works too
Jim, (feels like I’m talking to myself) you are correct. After: backing out of the Skype app, putting Titan to sleep, and then waking the phone the WiFi is still active.
or you can plug in your phone
Yes, true Dan. But many have complained that they can’t keep WiFi running in the background to save on Data usage while moving around freely in a WiFi area.
Some interesting new tidbits. Just got to work and my WiFi connection dropped, and then reconnected to the new router, as soon as I turned my phone on. I waited a few minutes and it was still disconnected on wakeup. Tried the iHeartRadio trick and it didn’t stick. WiFi was not on when I woke the phone up. Tried keeping iHeartRadio running in the background (multi-task view, not Background Task) and that seemed to work, but I didn’t have to do that at home. So is this specific to certain WiFi routers. Using a fairly new Lynksys at home and at the office something from EnGenius.
After leaving iHeartRadio in the background for a few minutes with the phone sleeping it appears the WiFi on lock is now stuck. Not sure why it didn’t work on the first try.
Nice. I was running my phone wi-fi only for a few weeks and I had trouble keeping my WiFi connection. Good find.
Also, keeping wifi on is kind of a social duty in order to crowdsource wifi access point location datamining for more effective augmented GPS which saves all of us battery and time, and it helps the economy. Just throwing that out there..
I can confirm this is working! Thank you very much Jim!!
Let’s see how this fares on the battery.
Ok, this is very preliminary and unscientific, but after 5 hours today with WiFi on the whole time (along with all my other default parameters), I have dropped 32% or 6.4% per hour.
Now, before you say wow, that’s a lot, note that I am currently testing Edge performance vs. LTE And so far, Edge battery drain has been terrible. For example last Friday, over a 5 hour period, I drained 34%, or 6.8% per hour. I have also been draining 32-35% in my overnight tests (3 so far) which is twice the normal. The full scoop on that will get posted later this week.
My typical daytime drain is 3.5 to 4% per hour, which includes occasionally turning my phone on to check and reply to texts and emails throughout the day, turn off reminders and maybe dabble in a app or two for a couple minutes. Also note that I have turned my phone on a lot more today, specifically to make sure WiFi is still running.
So, again preliminarily, I would suspect that WiFi is not eating more than about 1 to 1.5% per hour, and possibly much less. So what does this mean? Have we been duped into believing that WiFi will ravage our batteries, so that Carriers can sell bigger data plans. Can’t wait to have some more accurate test results. And no, I will not be updating iHeartRadio if one happens to appear tonight.
You never fail to impress do you Jim? I am conducting battery tests too and will be reporting as soon as I have enough data. Looking forward to your next battery article concerning this.
What drains battery life more, edge or 3G?
Not sure. Only focusing on LTE vs. Edge right now. Had a revelation last night and now Edge is winning the race. Will post up results on Thursday.
Jim I can confirm your occurrence at work when your WIFI dropped until you actually got to work.
This happens with me when I leave home and head for university. When I get to university, I have to connect again and relaunch iheartradio and do the trick again for WIFI to stay on.
Sometimes the trick simply stops working and I have to restart the phone. This happened to me yesterday and today when I got back home.
It worked for me 🙂
Skype also does work the same way