Don't just roam, WANDER!


#61

To me, the on/off switch serves as an indicator of the current state. Nice work @mchasal


#62

billg wrote:

To me, the on/off switch serves as an indicator of the current state. Nice work @mchasal

No no no, we’re still crossing paths on this. There are 2 different things that are being indicated in the current app:

  1. Is Wander enabled at all
  2. In the current app, this is the “Service is on/off” button on the Setup Screen
  3. Is Wander currently blocking cell data.
  4. In the current app, this is the non-interactive, “Roaming Data Block” button on the Stats screen

In my last mockup, #2 is not represented within the app at all, only the notification bar will tell you when it is blocking.

In the current app, if #1 is “Off” no data blocking will ever occur.

If #1 is “On” the indicator for #2 will change as you move around. It will go to “On” when you move into a roaming area, and move back to “Off” when you move to a Native area.

The #2 indicator is the one I’m not sure Bit wants to do without.


#63

mchasal wrote:

farlicimo wrote:

In the RW Roaming Data FAQ it notes that if you disable data you may have trouble making calls,texts, etc if Roaming data is turned off. Does anyone know if inbound is affected or just outbound?

That’s a good question. I don’t think inbound calls will be affected, and SMS should fall back to cell, but MMS might have trouble. @bitflung?

hi @farlicimo - i’ve actually been trying to test this recently to prove that things either do or don’t work 100%

as @mchasal suggested, calls are completely unaffected. SMS ought to fall back onto the Sprint network. MMS should fail to retrieve the message contents (picture, etc) until data services are later restored.

in my testing i’ve found that:

inbound calls: confirmed, they are unaffected.

outbound calls: Wander forces the data connection back on when you launch the phone app, so outbound calls are not affected either

inbound SMS: mostly unaffected (it gets complicated and i’ll explain what i’ve found below)

outbound SMS: Wander CAN force data back on when you launch Messaging, so it is unaffected if the user opts to use this feature (on by default). if disabled, outbound messages should fall back to the Sprint non-data connection without issue (not fully tested yet, but initial tests look good)

inbound MMS: if data is disabled this should be just like you were out of service range entirely (or your phone was off). testing is still ongoing but initial results look good. subject to the same potential issues as inbound SMS which is detailed below - won’t retrieve message contents till you have a data connection, but the connection can be forced back on by launching Messaging (user option, defaults to ON) so this shouldn’t be an issue for users who keep the default options enabled.

outbound MMS: just like outbound SMS, Wander can force the connection back on when you open Messaging (which is required to send an MMS). If the user starts sending a large image as an MMS, then leaves Messaging (opens a new app) while the message is still sending, Wander might close the data connection before the message is sent. this will cause the message to be delayed until you have a data connection later (either because you tap the button to turn on data for 5 minutes, open an allowed app, enter a native data area, or connect to wifi - any one of these will restore your data connection long enough to send an MMS)

Messaging confusion:

RW’s systems for inbound messages seem to work like this:

  1. SMS/MMS is sent by someone else, destined for your phone

  2. the message leaves the other person’s carrier network, is routed to RW’s network, and hits RW’s servers

  3. RW’s servers try to find your phone via a data connection

  4. if your phone is found, SMS/MMS delivery is attempted via data; if not the message is MOVED to Sprint’s network for delviery

4.a. if data-based delivery is attempted, RW has total control over the process. if the process fails for some reason (maybe you lose data connectivity after receiving half of the message?) RW can retry or (if you aren’t on data anymore) they again have the option of moving the message to Sprint’s network

4.b. once moved to Sprint’s network, RW’s systems no longer have control over the message. they don’t get another chance to move the message back over to a data connection

So the following appears to be possible:

  1. SMS/MMS is sent and destined to RW user

  2. RW server receives message

  3. RW server observes that user does not have a data connection (perhaps because Wander has disabled mobile data while you are roaming)

  4. SMS/MMS is moved to Sprint’s network for cell-based delivery (non-data mechanism that sends full SMS or just the headers of an MMS)

  5. RW user connects to wifi but still has no cell connection

  6. SMS/MMS will not be delivered yet because user has no Sprint connection despite now being connected to RW servers

  7. ANOTHER message is sent to RW user (who still hasn’t received the first message)

  8. RW user receives the 2nd message because it is immediately routed via data

  9. arbitrary length of time passes

  10. RW user re-enters cellular coverage area; 1st SMS/MMS is finally delivered

  11. RW user has received messages out-of-order which causes confusion

This process describes the worst case phenomenon that I can predict. In my testing this seems to be a legitimate possibility though my description of RW’s messaging protocols may not be fully accurate.

If the occasional out of order SMS is a major issue for you (anyone) then Wander may not be a good solution. On the other hand, if the occasional out of order SMS is not a big deal then I Wander should still suit you just fine.


#64

bitflung wrote:

inbound MMS: if data is disabled this should be just like you were out of service range entirely (or your phone was off). testing is still ongoing but initial results look good. subject to the same potential issues as inbound SMS which is detailed below - won’t retrieve message contents till you have a data connection,

Is there a reason you differentiate “message contents” here? Would the user receive some sort of message stub in this case that would indicate that they could turn data on and get the message contents?


#65

I’ll give it a shot @bitflung. Thanks for writing it for us.


#66

The text behavior you describe matches what I have seen in the past. When I am on a safe Wifi I (using Tasker, love it) disable my radio and have found some times a text message is stuck trying to be delivered by cell and so I only get it when I turn the cell back on even though I have been connected to wifi. So recently I have had Tasker enable my cell radio on the half hour so it can check for messages in case there are any that are stuck. Unrelated, I also have Tasker cycle my auto sync on the half hour to let other things come through.

EDIT:

PS, thanks for spending the effort to put this together!


#67

Looks cool bit. Now, would it be possible to ad Facebook to those apps to limit roaming data? That would be a cool help. Thanks for writing this for us all.


#68

mchasal wrote:

bitflung wrote:

inbound MMS: if data is disabled this should be just like you were out of service range entirely (or your phone was off). testing is still ongoing but initial results look good. subject to the same potential issues as inbound SMS which is detailed below - won’t retrieve message contents till you have a data connection,

Is there a reason you differentiate “message contents” here? Would the user receive some sort of message stub in this case that would indicate that they could turn data on and get the message contents?

yes, i believe so. MMS generally works like emails with attachments, there is a header and there is content. on other carriers (my experience is specifically with GSM devices) you can modify the APN (access point name) used for the data connection of an MMS (that is, the data connection used to fetch the content of an MMS).

on those devices/carriers, if you break the MMS APN you will still be notified of an incoming message but when you open it the content will not be present. you’d then have to go fix the APN so your MMS client could successfully retrieve the content of the message. this is very much like receiving email headers (but no message) so you KNOW you’ve got new emails and who they are from, but then retrieving the messages as a separate process (generally when you open the email your client would immediately go fetch the content).

further testing is needed to know how RW’s system works for sure, but this is what i expect.


#69

Looks like a great app, thank so much! Is this going to work ok for us on Google Voice? (calls)


#70

Thanks Bit

This is Morris here I will say your app is getting the test as of right now sprint lost all there service

here in north part of the state califorina it has been down for 10 hrs now .So we have been on roaming VZ/ATT,still are. I want to thank you for the app an all the work you have put in to it for us . For me it a life saver on data R W would have had afit to see all roaming data,

this outage would have caused. Thanks agian Morris


#71

Update after known roaming on Phone my states are no long zero and wonky like everyone’s else has

My is now showing “-65320 days, 17 hours, 22 minutes, 54 seconds, and -4948821 % since installation”


#72

j7 wrote:

Looks like a great app, thank so much! Is this going to work ok for us on Google Voice? (calls)

should work fine for google voice calls - you use the standard dialer to place outgoing calls, and the dialer (“Phone” app) forces mobile data back on.

as for SMS via google voice, those will be delayed until you have native coverage again OR Wander re-enables mobile data for any reason (open an allowed app or tap the “enable data for 5 minutes” button from the notification shade)


#73

telemon1 wrote:

Thanks Bit

This is Morris here I will say your app is getting the test as of right now sprint lost all there service

here in north part of the state califorina it has been down for 10 hrs now .So we have been on roaming VZ/ATT,still are. I want to thank you for the app an all the work you have put in to it for us . For me it a life saver on data R W would have had afit to see all roaming data,

this outage would have caused. Thanks agian Morris

fantastic! this is the perfect situation for Wander to do its thing - thanks for the positive feedback!

be sure to let me know if Wander “gets in the way” at all - if you find it is helpful most of the time but occasionally is horribly intrusive then i’ve still got something important to fix

-bit


#74

just a FYI I’m now using the hangout dialer for Google Voice Calls (Google Voice is not the main way I make calls I use it as a “house line” that get forward to both my wife’s and my phones, a line given my son’s school and places need to reach a parent) but I should receive a call even with out data and if I need to call out(very rarely) I can temperately turn off Wander.


#75

Hi Bitflug Morris here your app woked like a champ no tbl to report…went off roaming around 1120am to day sprint had a major outage. Iam all for the cut back on roamming data it is kinda hard on us if i need it an it is comming up like next week when iam on this cable job . they always send cut sheet an spliceing info when out in the field so we will see So hks agian for the app. Morris


#76

drm186 wrote:

just a FYI I’m now using the hangout dialer for Google Voice Calls (Google Voice is not the main way I make calls I use it as a “house line” that get forward to both my wife’s and my phones, a line given my son’s school and places need to reach a parent) but I should receive a call even with out data and if I need to call out(very rarely) I can temperately turn off Wander.

interesting - does the hangouts dialer allow you to place CELL VOICE calls, or are they CEL VOIP calls? if voip, you likely wouldn’t want to use your roaming data that way anyway (yikes!). if WIFI voip it won’t depend on cell roaming, and if it just triggers the Phone app, then i think Wander will wake up mobile data in time for you (let me know if i’m wrong about that)


#77

Hi Bitflug Morris here your app woked like a champ no tbl to report…went off roaming around 1120am to day sprint had a major outage.

fantastic! thanks for the positive feedback!

Iam all for the cut back on roamming data it is kinda hard on us if i need it an it is comming up like next week when iam on this cable job . they always send cut sheet an spliceing info when out in the field so we will see So hks agian for the app. Morris

you’re welcome - hopefully those cut sheets, etc are smaller than 25MB. remember to look for wifi if/when you can too!

best of luck

-bit


#78

I did a few test with Cell Data off and the Hangout dialer did not connect with an error to check data connection it looks like this is just a VOIP calling (I did a second test with data on band got the same error Sprint 3G is bad at my work but in my option 4G is not worth $15 cost increase most of the time )


#79

You will never please everyone, but in general I’ve found that in UI’s simple is best. I think the only thing that is slightly confusing is the “block” part of “Roaming data block”. From the app’s point of view the feature that is on/off is “Roaming data block” but from the users point of view the feature they care about is “Roaming Data”. So just remove the block bit and just throw a not around whatever logic controls on/off and call it good.

For the service is enabled page just changed that to “Wander is Enabled” and I think you clear things up, service in programming terms is quite different from what a phone user might think of (i.e. cell service, data service etc). Makes perfect sense to me, now that I see what you’re doing there but in the context of a phone app that I know enables/disables data “service” I immediately think that data is enabled when I see that.

Also I would say just hide those stats. They would be cool if you can get them up and running but don’t add a lot of value to the end user so its not worth confusing people in the mean time. Also if you aren’t having fun working on them then I don’t think too many people with complain they are gone

Great work by the way, I love the fact that you are putting something together that addresses the roaming issue quickly. I think it is a great stop-gap while Republic pulls together their new bucket system for roaming, hopefully the people that were concerned about the roaming change will see this post. In any case good work, something I don’t think a lot of the newer users understand is just how great the community here at Republic is at supporting each other. In my book its another huge selling point for Republic, all the people that spend their free time helping out other users, its great to see.


#80

I finished a 150 mile round trip yesterday where my phone roamed from time-to-time and consumed no roaming data whatever. All I noticed was the expected spike in cell data as indicated by the RW app. Too bad there is no way to measure what would have been had Wander not been turned on.