AT&T's Smart Wi-Fi is a breath of fresh air for those who have a distaste for carrier-provided apps. Available for free on the Android Market, Smart Wi-Fi allows you to locate and connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots not easily found by standard wireless searching apps. The app allows you to manage Wi-Fi connections often used and even allows your phone to switch to Wi-Fi automatically to save cellular data usage (and some change on your phone bill). As highlighted in AT&T's press release, Smart Wi-Fi takes wireless management to the next level as it is able to switch from cellular to Wi-Fi connections automatically. The app displays nearby hotspots with a 'Missed Opportunities' list displaying hotspots you missed but can access next time around. Using 'View Data Plan,' customers can easily check up on their Wi-Fi and cellular data percentages for their monthly alotted data. Smart Wi-Fi not only manages connections, but also cell phone batteries as switching between Wi-Fi and cellular data is automatically managed by the app. By enabling automatic handling, the app will conserve batteries by turning your Wi-Fi or cellular radios off according to the connection established by Smart Wi-Fi. AT&T built in additional features such as 'My Spots,' which automatically connects you to previously accessed networks. 'Popular Hotspots' finds any Wi-Fi hotspot with good connection ratings based on previous users' experiences. 'Public Hotspots' does background scanning of any other available public hotspot and its signal strength. CNET's review of Smart Wi-Fi claims that AT&T's new app is not necessarily a generous contribution to customers frustrated with shoddy cellular and Wi-Fi connections. 'Wi-Fi has played a particularly important role with AT&T since the company acquired Wi-Fi operator WayPort three years ago. The company has signed deals to create Wi-Fi hot spots in major chains such as McDonald's, Starbucks, and FedEx locations.' Smart Wi-Fi is a solution that networks are increasingly pushing on the customer: lay off the 3G and 4G and hop onto Wi-Fi to alleviate the wireless spectrum 'shortage.'

Posted by David Yi, Social Media and SEO Assistant at Wireless Emporium