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InstaWiFi: The Android app that makes you wish all WiFi networks worked like this

on August 15, 2012 – 5:14 pmNo Comment

Here’s a scenario I’m sure many of you have experienced: You have some friends over, there’s a party going on, someone wants to upload the photos they just took to Facebook, but they don’t want to use their cellular connection. Instead they ask you for the name of your WiFi network and the long and complicated password you can’t even remember to connect to it. What if there was a better way? Enter InstaWiFi, which I just heard about while listening to episode 72 of the “All About Android” podcast.

You install InstaWiFi on your phone, preferably one with NFC, and then you can write the name and password of your WiFi network to an NFC sticker that anyone can then read with their NFC enabled Android device. If your friend doesn’t have InstaWiFi installed, no problem, the NFC tag will send them to the Google Play Store to grab the app. And if your friend doesn’t have an NFC enabled Android device, then again, it isn’t an issue. Tap a button on your phone and it will display a QR code. Your friend scans said code, and boom, they have a connection.

This isn’t in iOS, Windows Phone, Symbian, or any other smartphone platform as far as I know, but then again this feature is so compelling that it should simply be baked into the WiFi standard. We’re starting to see 5 GHz WiFi become a feature in high end smartphones, something that requires the purchase of a new wireless access point, so imagine if your new router had built-in NFC and was InstaWiFi enabled? Better yet, imagine how much more convenient connecting to WiFi would be at your local café, while riding the bus, the subway, and so on and so forth, if all those locations had NFC stickers?

Maybe one day.

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Stefan has been writing about the mobile phone industry since November 2006. He also spent 14 months at Nokia between 2008 and 2009, but has since purchased a Nexus One and an Apple iPhone. He's watching Windows Phone like a hawk, hoping it'll get better with time.