Android Oreo was first a bit of a lackluster Update, but after gaining some cool tricks like notification dots and more, it seems the most exciting update since Android Lolipop. 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.
Public Wi-Fi can be spotty. For the first time, #AndroidOreo 8.1 lets you take out the guesswork & see the speed of networks before you hit connect. Rolling out now: https://t.co/lSzvCFgNk7 pic.twitter.com/60EmoPxUX4
— Android (@Android) January 22, 2018
Not only does it makes us realize how fast our WiFi is, it also makes 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.