It took two years for Windows Phone to offer the option to keep Wi-Fi running when the phone is sleeping. Hopefully it won’t take as long for Microsoft to include the option to put Wi-Fi asleep when my Surface RT is sleeping. The reasoning is the same as for Windows Phone, and every other mobile device. Everyone uses their devices differently.
For Windows Phone, the reasons for keeping Wi-Fi on all the time could vary from; avoiding data plans, keeping your MB download count low to avoid exceeding your limit, or to reduce your battery drain by turning off your data connection. For the Surface RT, and any other Windows 8 tablet device with ACM, turning off Always Connected Mode has nothing to do with Carrier limits. But it has everything to do with conserving your battery.
I have a phone that’s nearby and on all the time, 24/7. I receive messaging, email and other app related alerts all day. By virtue of my phone I feel that I am already “Always Connected”. I don’t use my Surface RT everyday (yet). It’s always in my bag, but I might only turn it on every other, or third day. Usually after using my Surface, I will fully charge it before stowing it away. Because of Always Connected Mode though, when I go to use it the next time, the battery level can be anywhere from 30% to “critically low”. Meaning that in order to use it, I need to tether it which sort of defeats the whole tablet thing. Right?
I know. I can put it in Airplane Mode each time I stow it away, and it will last for weeks in my bag without a charge. But that requires a; swipe, tap, tap, tap, wait, each time I am about to turn off my Surface. And then a swipe, tap, tap, tap, wait, to turn Airplane Mode off each time I wake the device up again. (Note: Ironically, in Desktop mode it’s only a tap, tap, wait, to toggle Airplane Mode on/off). Wouldn’t it be a lot easier to have a toggle below Airplane Mode that says; Always Connected Mode – Off / On. With ACM Off, all I would need to do is close my touch cover or tap the power button to put my baby to sleep and save energy. Do I really need to hear my bag singing all day and night each time a synced email or app alert arrives, usually while I am already reading it on my “Always Connected” phone.
Hopefully Microsoft does not make us wait till Blue, or later to correct this energy waster. Or, maybe I just need to conform and use my Surface RT every day so I can put it on charge every night. That might happen when my entire desk surface is equip with wireless charging. Or better yet, when charging current is simply passed through the air and small children are protected by lead bubble suits.