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Android 8.1 can now display Wi-Fi speeds before connecting


Oreo was a bit of a lackluster update on first launch, but the mobile operating system is getting some nice new tricks with 8.1’s updates. The new Speed Labels feature is one of the more compelling of the bunch, offering estimated network signals prior to logging on.

Starting this week, users with 8.1 installed will see one of four qualifiers next to open Wi-Fi networks: Very Fast, Fast, OK and Slow. Pretty straightforward, that. Fast is fine for most videos, according to Google, with Very Fast required for much higher quality. OK should suffice for reading sites and streaming music, while Slow is basically okay for Wi-Fi calling and texts.

It’s not exactly a speed test rating, but it should make the job of deciding between networks a bit easier. The feature was announced in December and is finally starting to roll out to 8.1 users this week. Of course, that version of Android is still in relatively limited supply at the moment, with support on Google’s own phones, including the Pixel and Pixel 2, Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X.

Speeds won’t show up for protected networks, and admins who are sensitive about that sort of thing also can opt-out from having their speed displayed in Android.