Android 8.0 Supports WiFi Passpoint, It’s Optional For OEMs

September 14, 2017 - Written By Manny Reyes

Android 8.0 Oreo, Google’s latest operating system for mobile devices, has introduced support for WiFi Passpoint, an industry standard that allows you to connect from one Wi-Fi hotspot to another within the same network without having to enter credentials all over again. However, while the WiFi Passpoint feature is now available to a few devices including the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, the Google Pixel and the Google Pixel XL phones that run Android 8.0 Oreo, there is no guarantee that it will become a default standard in those handsets as it is up to the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to implement the solution. That means some devices such as those that have already received the Android 8.0 Oreo update and those that are slated for upgrade in the future may still require users to authenticate a network every time they try to connect to a WiFi hotspot, provided their OEMs refuse to implement the WiFi Passpoint standard.

Nevertheless, the WiFi Passpoint standard helps users quickly gain access to different Wi-Fi hotspots while avoiding the process of finding a network and requesting to connect to the access point once they need to switch to another hotspot. This protocol is made even more arduous by the need to sometimes agree to the terms of usage several times again, depending on how many hotspots you sign into. If an OEM opts to implement the WiFi Passpoint standard on their products, there are a couple of responsibilities associated with adopting the feature. For one, OEMs must put into effect some WifiManager APIs related to Passpoint. Additionally, they must also provide support for the 802.11u standard developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, including the Generic Advertisement Service, which provides over-the-air transit for higher-layer advertisement frames between WiFi stations, and Access Network Query Protocol, which describes the solutions provided at a WiFi hotspot by an access point.

The WiFi Passpoint standard is just the latest feature that comes to the Android 8.0 Oreo. Most recently, support for the Notification Channels, one of the operating system’s major features, was rolled out to the Google+ Android app. More updates are likely coming to Android 8.0 Oreo in the coming months as the latest iteration of Android hits more devices in the future.