Back in August, Google announced that in the coming weeks it would also allow non-Project Fi Nexus users to connect to verified, secure Wi-Fi hotspots in public, and that’s exactly what’s happening now, it seems.
Google’s Fi wireless service has been around for a while now, and until now, only Project Fi Nexus phones could take advantage of Google’s Wi-Fi Assistant. Wi-Fi Assistant essentially connects your phone to a trusted, stable, and open Wi-Fi network near you. That’s especially handy if you’re in an area where your cell signal or data connection is weak.
The only inconvenience was that you had to have a Fi SIM card, and it was only compatible with the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, and Nexus 6. To alleviate this issue, Google announced a month ago that its Wi-Fi Assistant feature would be coming to virtually all Nexus users in the US, Canada, Mexico, UK, and Nordic countries, and it seems like Google wasn’t kidding around.
According to Droid Life, starting today, almost all Nexus users should be able to see the feature enabled with the latest version of Google Connectivity Services and Play Services. I say “almost all” because your Nexus device needs to be running Android 5.1 or higher. If you open up Settings > Google > Networks, you should see an option to use open Wi-Fi automatically. Don’t worry if you can’t see it yet because Google is presumably still in the process of rolling out the update.
If you open up Settings > Google > Networks, you should see an option to use open Wi-Fi automatically.
You may be wondering if it is safe to automatically connect to public Wi-Fi networks. Wi-Fi Assistant makes sure that your data is transmitted through a secure VPN managed by Google to protect your information. In fact, a small key symbol should appear when your device is using Google’s VPN. If this doesn’t convince you, then you can always turn off Wi-Fi Assistant.
If you’re in one of the supported countries, check your Nexus device to see if Wi-Fi Assistant is available and let us know by commenting below!