Don't just roam, WANDER!


#101

Wander Rules! My first full day with Wander running…

(this just made my day!)

As I’ve mentioned, I’m on an island with difficult reception…poor Sprint, half the time I’m roaming to a Verizon tower […] after being out most of the day, at 10 hours, still 61%! Previously, that would have been more like 15%. […]

excellent! yeah, i didn’t really plan for Wander to be used as a battery saver, but that makes great sense: mobile data draws power, and roaming data is often poor quality so draws more power (lower signal strength = more power on a CDMA phone)

really happy Wander had this effect on your phone! (a good deal of my initial testing with Wander was spent trying to find ways in which Wander might be using more power than needed - so hearing that it saves power is fantastic)

ATTENTION RW–if you’d had an option like Wander to just turn off Roaming Data, I would have been using it (for battery life if nothing else) and you would have saved close to 40mb in August! I suspect that much of the high roaming data usage is folks like me who live in poor reception areas and don’t know how to turn off roaming data–getting scared by the message about screwing up calls and sms.

yeah, I wish RW had something like this for us too. Hopefully they’ll pull something together down the road. i’ll be happy when, someday, everyone uninstalls Wander because RW has put together a much better and more complete solution

Well, I haven’t been using Wander long enough to really check the sms thing. I hardly ever use sms, maybe once every two weeks, but when I want it, I want it. If I’m going to send one, I can just turn Wander off, but I’m hoping that it won’t interfere with receiving sms when I’m in roaming areas.

There is no need to turn Wander off to send an SMS.

Wander can turn mobile data back on for you whenever you use the Messaging app to send an SMS - Wander does this by default, but you can OPT to turn it off. for you: just don’t turn off the roaming ability of the Messaging app (that’s the big button in Wander’s user interface with the Messaging app’s icon and text indicating “ROAM” or “NO ROAM” to let you know whether Messaging is allowed to roam or not.

Will try to check on that soon. If that’s okay, Wander is a perfect solution for data AND battery.

in my testing inbound SMS do arrive even while Wander has mobile data disabled. They take longer to arrive and there is some opportunity for messages to arrive out of order, but they all arrived eventually.

And I’m sure RW could build something like that in, and they could make sure it doesn’t interfere with incoming or outgoing sms. HEAR THAT RW? This could be a silver bullet to save a ton of roaming data & you could roll back that 25mb limit!


#102

As I’ve mentioned, I’m on an island with difficult reception…poor Sprint, half the time I’m roaming to a Verizon tower […] after being out most of the day, at 10 hours, still 61%! Previously, that would have been more like 15%. […]

excellent! yeah, i didn’t really plan for Wander to be used as a battery saver, but that makes great sense: mobile data draws power, and roaming data is often poor quality so draws more power (lower signal strength = more power on a CDMA phone)

really happy Wander had this effect on your phone! (a good deal of my initial testing with Wander was spent trying to find ways in which Wander might be using more power than needed - so hearing that it saves power is fantastic)

Based on this battery saving information, would it make sense for people on the $10 plan who live in so-so coverage areas to use Wander as a way to get better battery life?

I’m in the situation above, but I haven’t started using Wander yet because I have an open ticket about my usage showing a bunch of apps using both cellular and roaming data even though I’m on the $10 plan.


#103

@bitflung I’m going to try answering point by point but I’m not sure I have this quote thing down so bear with me!

couldn’t sign in? or after signing in the RW app wouldn’t turn the Arc solid green? these are definitely two different problems to have, so it’s important to know which one it was (and it might be best to move this discussion to a new thread so others with this issue in the future can find the help more easily)

Good point - I don’t have all of the terminology straight yet. RW app wouldn’t turn the Arc solid green; a couple times it said that it couldn’t find a strong signal. I checked meter and signal was extremely strong. I also had successfully connected with WiFi when we first arrived at the hotel. We went out to eat - I successfully connected there - and when we got back to the hotel, RW could not give me the solid green Arc.

after uninstalling both apps, did the McDonalds wifi work properly for you?

I don’t remember if I uninstalled then (we were eating breakfast on the fly and I didn’t have time to mess with the phone) or if I uninstalled them later. I do know that after I uninstalled them, I tried to connect at a rest area; same result…

i’m curious why the home wifi needed to be setup again, but that’s likely a whole different issue (?)

now that it is working again, have you reinstalled Wander and that wifi app? have you tried McDonalds/etc since reinstalling those apps? any difference in the phone’s behavior?

Home WiFi was that I had to call them (they hadn’t unsuspended it after extended vacation when they were supposed to) and I use VOIP for home phone so had to go outside with my Moto X because of weak Sprint signal in my house and it was raining and… whine whine whine! I’ve reinstalled Wander and my phone is behaving just fine. I haven’t been anywhere yet to retest MacDonalds (I live in the boondocks) but there’s been no negative effect on my home network. Have not reinstalled the auto-connect WiFi app yet because my gut feeling is that it was the one causing my problem.

RW has added caps to roaming data, so we can’t cause them any real harm anymore: don’t feel guilty for using data (roaming or not). Wander should be able to help you save your roaming data allowance for use late in the month when you might really need it, and so its main function is to help YOU moreso than RW (though it ought to be meaningful to RW as well, that’s a secondary purpose now that RW has roaming data caps).

Good to know that. I had myself in a panic because my roaming data showed at 209 kb. My old eyes were reading that as 209 MB!!! I give it a few days before I reinstall WiFi Afterconnect again. If the phone’s been acting just fine, and then crashes after I put on Afterconnect, we’ll have the answer. If it doesn’t, then I guess the atmospheric pressure was too high and the planets were not correctly aligned when this ocurred!

Once again, thanks for writing a truly great program. It worked well and did what it was supposed to do.


#104

@jigamo I’m on the $10 plan myself. As Wander works with 3G and 4G cell networks, I’m not sure it would have any effect on a $10 plan. It wouldn’t be looking for data if there is no data plan in place, I think. The apps using roaming data would be the RW and Google apps? I think the phones are set up that way so that RW can do necessary things over cell…

orrrrrr… I could be all wrong!


#105

sure: it should have a similar impact on your battery life too :slight_smile:


#106

What you’re describing is what I would have expected. However, it’s not what the app is reporting to me. It’s currently showing 21 that used cell data so far this month (though only very minimal amounts) and 5 that used roaming data. However, Republic must be messing around with the data that’s getting used in the data usage app because these numbers are completely different from what I captured in screenshots about a week ago. You can see them here.


#107

Thanks, I’ll look forward to trying that out once my ticket is resolved. I don’t want to make any changes until then.


#108

Ahh ok! I was confused. Good to know!

THANKS!


#109

I like the change in language in the current version, as well as the elimination of the info screen. You probably should replace the image in the opening message. I took a long trip through Verizon land yesterday and didn’t use a byte of their data.


#110

I believe that I read somewhere that the roaming usage that RW does in the background would not be figured into our roaming usage as far as the cap goes. That might be the discrepancy in numbers that you’re seeing… some days RW does more - some days less - even when you aren’t doing any!! As you said… messing around with the data used aka fine tuning the app!


#111

Does Verizon data byte?


#112

Hey Bit just a FYI for debug purpose the Wander app did not restore data today when I got on a sprint tower

I went though the parking deck where I only get roaming this morning and when I got to my desk the data was still disabled, check the SignalCheck Lite app and it showia sprint provider but wander still had data disable (I had to turn off Wander to allow data to be restored I turn if back on and all seams fine for now)


#113

Could you please include the Google Voice app in your list?

People who use GV need that on to receive texts.

Thx!


#114

drm186 wrote:

Hey Bit just a FYI for debug purpose the Wander app did not restore data today when I got on a sprint tower

I went though the parking deck where I only get roaming this morning and when I got to my desk the data was still disabled, check the SignalCheck Lite app and it showia sprint provider but wander still had data disable (I had to turn off Wander to allow data to be restored I turn if back on and all seams fine for now)

interesting. let me know if you can reproduce this issue in the future.

at least one user has had an issue where Wander is being killed in the background; any chance that happened to you? (possible causes for this include: task killers, apps that claim to improve battery, anti-virus, or even Android itself when ram is low).

i’m currently testing an optional feature that places a persistent notification in your status bar; android SHOULD try to keep alive any app that has a persistent (and high priority) notification open - but if the app is killed by some other process at least you’d be able to OBSERVE that it isn’t running anymore.

if the data block feature fails despite the persistent notification being there (something i haven’t been able to reproduce here despite lacking that persistent notification) then, well, i’m not sure what to do really. perhaps start trying to gather log files from the few people who report this sort of issue?

shoot me a direct message if you CAN reproduce this - i’d like to hear more about it!

Thanks,

-bit


#115

The way Wander is currently architected, even if GV was on the list it would have to be the foreground app for data to be enabled. So it wouldn’t really help with incoming texts.

Bit will have to comment on whether it’s possible/reasonable to do it another way, but I’m guessing not.


#116

clarkp wrote:

Could you please include the Google Voice app in your list?

People who use GV need that on to receive texts.

Thx!

i could possibly add GV to the supported apps list, but that won’t help with receiving texts in roaming areas

the problem here is that Wander kills all mobile data whenever an allowed app is not actively running in the foreground - so to get incoming texts while roaming you’d need to have GV open in the foreground all the time.

that’s something of an inconvenience that i don’t expect folks to be willing to do - so adding the GV app would give the false sense to other users that Wander fully enables such a feature… i’m reluctant to do this because it would confuse most folks.

maybe we can dream up an approach to supporting GV a bit better though. what sort of use case do you have?

  • roaming a LOT of the time

  • frequently NEEDING to get GV incoming texts while roaming (even if you rarely roam)

  • only needing incoming GV texts while GV is running in the foreground (you KNOW when you are expecting inbound texts)

  • ok with having inbound texts delayed by some period of time

some initial thoughts on this include:

  1. if Wander disables roaming data for a long time (more than 15 minutes?) it could (optionally) re-enable data for a minute or so once every 15 minutes
  2. provide the option to ONLY disable AUTO-SYNC when you are in a roaming area, so apps that don’t respect this setting would still get data (background data). i’m not sure this would include GV but i’m confident that a lot of other apps would suck up data despite having AUTO-SYNC off (i cannot control “background data” settings; that feature is part of the “secure settings” and requires user action to toggle it)
  3. ensure that mobile data remains on for at least X minutes (10, 15, 30?) after GV has been used (so responses to a text are likely to be received)

i’m not convinced that any of these ideas are particularly good. sadly this is a difficult problem to solve without implementing an actual firewall - there are firewall apps out there that might work better, but the most useful ones require root access. i’ll keep thinking on this but if you come up with something you think would work, let me know (either right here or via a direct message)

-bit


#117

Forgive me if this is already in here somewhere, but how is foreground defined? I’m thinking if the current active app, current active app on unlit screen, or in the recent and open apps? I am assuming it must be the main active app but not sure about the lit screen. I ask as I saw a spike in my roaming data (not big, <1mb) on a day where I don’t think I actively used any of the apps while I was in a likely roaming area but I can say my text app is almost always in the recent list even if not active. I suppose it could also be there is a small enough lag in the kick on time that I used some roaming data in the interim. I do know I was streaming some youtube going through an area where roaming goes in and out so maybe it is that?


#118

Forgive me if this is already in here somewhere, but how is foreground defined? I’m thinking if the current active app, current active app on unlit screen, or in the recent and open apps? I am assuming it must be the main active app but not sure about the lit screen.

current active app; that’s the one.

if you are in a roaming area and observe that Wander has disabled mobile data (the Wander notification pops up in the notification area), you could then open the RW app and instantly observe that mobile data is turned back on. tap the home button and you’ll see mobile data turned off again. hit recent apps and you’ll see the RW app is still listed, but it isn’t the active on-screen app and therefore mobile data is OFF.

if you leave the RW app open (or other"allowed" app which triggers Wander to enable data again) then mobile data should remain enabled even while the screen is off. I don’t currently check for screen state (on/off) at all. perhaps I should.

I ask as I saw a spike in my roaming data (not big, <1mb) on a day where I don’t think I actively used any of the apps while I was in a likely roaming area but I can say my text app is almost always in the recent list even if not active.

recent apps shouldn’t matter at all. but if the texting app would have been on-screen if you turned the screen back on, that could have caused this.

I suppose it could also be there is a small enough lag in the kick on time that I used some roaming data in the interim.

it is definitely possible that Wander took a short while to actually turn the data connection off after hitting the roaming area and that some apps may have been consuming data right at that moment. a few seconds of roaming data usage here and there could add up throughout the day.

I do know I was streaming some youtube going through an area where roaming goes in and out so maybe it is that?

that makes great sense - youtube is a data hog, a few seconds of roaming data usage here and there (from short delays in Wander’s actions) could easily leak <1MB of roaming data through to your phone. I’m actually kinda proud that it was less than 1MB in the end


#119

I was thinking about the screen context and that’s a tough one. Don’t take it into account and when I make a call, hang up, turn off screen, and stick in my pocket leaves the data on when not really desired. Conversely if I make a call and screen goes dark you wouldn’t want it killing the connection. Actually, now that I say that, I guess it really depends on if the data is needed once screen goes dark. For a call that is active its no longer needed (I think), Chrome likely isn’t needed if no one is looking at it, but I could see cases where the maps function might be desired even with screen off. I think the current setup of not accounting for it is best without adding a ton of complexity (aka effort on your end) to the model.


#120

I agree, it’s a bit of an edge case that gets really hard to be deterministic about. Considering that it’s pretty trivial to turn Wander off, either via the 5 minute override in the notification, or via the switch on the app, I’d be inclined to leave the case of wanting data while the screen is off as a manual exception. Since the primary goal is to reduce data consumption, I’d definitely err to that side.