Today, we’re proud to announce another WiFi feature: the ability to pass network login pages (aka: captive portals), automatically, after you do so for the first time. It works by saving actions you take on network login pages you already use and replaying them for subsequent connections.
Frequently walking in and out of Starbucks? No problem. After you accept the network’s terms once and agree to save the actions, you’ll be connected to the Internet within seconds any other time you’re around it — no hassle, no fuss. Or, you can simply turn the feature off.
Please note: This preloaded feature on the app will be turned OFF by default. It only activates if you’d like to use it.
To activate, head to Settings in the app and look for “Authenticate open WiFi networks.” Then tap the checkbox and “Enable.” With the feature enabled, a network’s login page will be displayed when you initially connect to it — like the guest network page that pops up here on NC State’s campus. After you enter information on the page or take some action to connect, we’ll ask if you want to save the actions. You may choose not to, in which case we’ll never bug you about that network again. If you decide to save the actions, they are securely stored and ready to be replayed next time you see the same network. If you ever decide to change what networks you do or don’t want to automatically attempt to connect to, you may do so in Settings.
This is a Beta feature — it’s not going to work on all networks right off the bat. So, to get this feature off the ground, we are looking for some WiFi stewards to enable it and try it out (that’s you)! For anyone that uses the feature in the Beta phase, we’ll be tracking connections that attempted and failed with completely anonymized data, and continually expanding the list of captive portals that we can automate.
This is but one small piece of the work we’re putting into getting people on WiFi networks you use regularly and trust more easily. As you remember, we deployed a feature last month that displays prompts for open network connections near you, saving the step of opening Settings and selecting an available network from there. We’ll continue to make improvements to that feature, and have some great ideas coming in early 2015.
Click here to download the latest version (126.96.36.1990) of the app.