Oreo can force WiFi on, why can't RW?


So in the past I’ve had issues with my G3 trying to connect with random networks on my commute but never trying to connect with my saved home network. Never got it resolved, chalked it up to some glitch introduced with an update that removed some options but didn’t clean up all of the old files. I would still like to be able to force my phone to turn on WiFi when I’m at home so that I don’t use mobile data needlessly.

I’ve since replaced it with a G6 and have discovered a new annoyance: Oreo doesn’t have an explicit way to block an app from consuming mobile data. All you can do is limit background data if the app itself doesn’t have an explicit offline mode. The problem that I’ve run into more than once was when watching YouTube at home–and not realizing that either my WiFi was not turned on (on the phone) or the house network was down–and suddenly burning through HUNDREDS of megs of cellular data without even a peep from my phone. RW was gracious enough to add some data the first time, which was nice. I’ve since lowered my mobile data limit to 500 MB, but that doesn’t help to identify the issue until it’s already gone wrong.

The problem with YouTube is that it can only be set to use lower resolution video–which is already my default–and has no offline mode. You’d think that since Google owns YouTube they would have covered this gap between the two of them. Nope, just gonna let everything use as much data as it wants and let the billing department sort it out for us. Not cool.

The brute force method I’ve employed to stop this from happening is to install a third party app that’s basically a VPN and configure it to block mobile data on an app-by-app basis. This is somewhere between silly and absurd that I have to look to a third party to implement basic data control on my phone. Also not cool.

It appears to me that one partial solution is to force WiFi to turn on when certain networks are available. It doesn’t address the problem of my home network being down but it does automate the task on my phone. This option is present in vanilla Oreo but apparently has to be enabled by the developers. As far as I can see, it’s not present on my G6. Is that correct? I can turn on Location > Scanning but it doesn’t bring up the option to auto-enable WiFi. Hey RW, since we’re a “let’s use as little mobile data as possible” kind of community, why wasn’t this option enabled when Oreo was rolled out? It’s scheduled for widespread implementation in Pie, but how long will it be before we see Pie on our phones?

Really frustrated with the way this works, hoping that someone can shed some light on why it works the way it currently does and what–if anything–is being done to correct it.

Here’s instructions on how it’s normally accessed:

Announcement that it will be available in Pie and details of how to enable it in Oreo:



You man want to explore MacroDroid (recently featured in Community Challenge 5: MacroDroid Automations and it got some creative uses made by the community.
You could use a geofence to trigger arrival/departure home and enable WiFi and connect to your chosen router/AP …

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Hi @samuelr.jl1hno,

Thanks for stopping by again!

The answer is in one of the articles you linked to.

The feature isn’t available for all Android Oreo devices as OEMs have to choose to enable it, but it will be available for all devices running Android Pie!

Republic Wireless isn’t an OEM. The phones we sell on our website are not specially built by or for Republic. For your Moto G6, Motorola is the OEM.

I’s good to see you were able to come up with a temporary workaround as you await for the roll-out of Pie. Feel free to share that workaround in more detail so others can also enjoy it!

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Interesting. I’ll look into that. Someone also suggested I look into IFTTT. Possibly another solution.


My mistake, I read that as being something that RW could compile with the RW firmware. But now that I think about it, RW firmware went away a few years ago, didn’t it? Man, I’m batting about zero with my RW customer service issues. =) I appreciate your patience.

My current solution to stop the data hemorrhaging is using NetGuard. You can pick data access for both mobile and WiFi on a per-app basis like you could with Marshmallow.

Do you know by chance if Pie will be rolled out on the G6 by RW or by Motorolla? Or when it’s scheduled?



It would be Motorola as the manufacturer not Republic pushes operating system updates.

It’s entirely up to Motorola but, for what it’s worth, release notes have been published on Motorola’s U.S. website here: https://support.motorola.com/us/en/Solution/MS137254.


Just a quick update. I tried to force on the “automatically turn on WiFi” feature using the guide from xda-developers but it doesn’t do anything even when I enable it, reinforcing the idea that it wasn’t enabled by Motorolla because of some incompatibility. That doesn’t bode well for it being functional in Pie, but I seem to be wrong about these things pretty consistently. =D

I installed IFTTT and tried a script that uses GPS to turn on your WiFi but that was also unsuccessful. I’ll give it another try since I installed it at home and manually turned off the WiFi–it might require you to leave the location and come back to trigger.

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A month later, no success with auto-enable. I do, however, now get a reminder from the RW app if I leave wifi off for a while. It normally happens when I’m driving to work and come out of a no-data-coverage area in the wilderness. Not terribly useful at that point, but could be nice if I leave it off at home overnight.

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