Keep WiFi alive

The ability to keep Wi-Fi on while the display is off is a Windows Phone OS update not limited to HTC.

With China just launching the Nokia Lumia 920T, information is slowly leaking out about some of the differences between it and the current versions of the flagship phone already on the market.

In images posted on the site WPXAP, we can confirm the existence of two added features that greatly enhance the user experience. The first one is the “Keep Wi-Fi Alive” ability, which we documented yesterday on the just released HTC 8S. At the time, we were uncertain if that feature was an HTC customization or part of an updated build to Windows Phone 8 (10211). As it turns out, it appears to be the latter as the 920T is sporting the same Wi-Fi settings screen.

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The HTC 8S, though widely praised as exceptionally designed, has been MIA ever since the Windows Phone 8 launch a few weeks back. Rumor that we heard was HTC was finishing up a few last details to the software and may even had some early issues to fix before release. Regardless, it was just a matter of time before that mid-range device sees the light of day.

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We’ve covered the whole how-to-keep-your-Wi-Fi-alive issue before on Windows Phone Central. It was first realized that some apps keep the data-connection channel open which then allows your Wi-Fi to stay on when the phone is placed in standby (screen off).

Then a bloke over at XDA Forums created an app to mimic that scenario and it worked quite well except for the fact that it appeared to play a dummy song in your music controls.

Jaxbot from Windows Phone Hacker has now thrown his hat in the ring with Keep Alive. It too is a homebrew app that does not require root, meaning regular ‘dev unlocked’ phones can use it but it uses a slightly different method. Instead of pretending to stream a dummy song, Jaxbot evidently has set up his own server which then keeps your phone connected—data is kept at a minimum as it is just using pings to keep the connection open.

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Earlier this morning we reported on a neat little trick that a few Windows Phone apps can do which is keep your Wi-Fi connection active even when the display is powered off.

That’s pretty useful feature for some people who are using a public Wi-Fi access point that requires you to “accept” the terms of service each time you re-connect. On a Windows Phone, every time you turn the display off it kills the Wi-Fi connection meaning you are forced to reconnect which can be problematic--even more so if you’re downloading some files.

Over at XDA, developer Ha Mai Tung (WinPhoneViet.com) has created a neat little homebrew app called Keep WiFi Alive which exploits the trick that some audio apps use. The app creates a fake music stream that makes the OS “think” it is downloading music, thereby keeping the Wi-Fi connection active.  The app is simple to use—just launch and hit the button.  To disable you can either turn off Wi-Fi in Settings or restart the phone.

Demo of Keep WiFi Alive

The app is homebrew, meaning you’ll need a developer unlocked device (either AppHub or Chevron) and does not require interop access, meaning many of you can use it if you can sideload the XAP. It’s still in beta form so there could be some bugs and of course battery usage will presumably increase, so be warned.

Source: XDA Forums; via Windows Phone Daily, Plaffo

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